Nearly 31 million people watched President Donald Trump’s inauguration on TV on January 20, 2017, Nielsen reports.
The official Nielsen tally of 30.635 million for the former Celebrity Apprentice star’s oath-taking ceremonies falls far short of the last time a screen star was sworn in as leader of the free world; Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration clocked nearly 42M viewers on January 20, 1981. On the other hand, Reagan’s inauguration was pre-digital.
Barack Obama’s historic first inauguration, on January 20, 2009, logged nearly 38M viewers, which continues to hold the distinction of being the biggest linear TV crowd since Reagan’s first swearing-in.
For comparison sake, Trump’s Inauguration TV tally according to Nielsen falls short of Richard Nixon’s inaugural crowd of 32.95M in 1973, and landed shy of Jimmy Carter’s swearing-in crowd of 34.127M in 1977.
Nielsen says coverage varied by network, with 12 networks aired live coverage from approximately 10 AM ET to 6 PM ET. They included: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNBC, Fox Business Network, Galavision, and HLN.
A whopping 19.214M of those 30.6M viewers were 55 years or older. A mere 2.813M fell into the 18-34 age bracket, a group that’s more likely to have watched via stream.
Viewers aged 35-54 years tuned in to TV 7.159M strong.