Worldwide, Biden’s news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was viewed by a large audience, but there was no standard way to measure audience in countries and sites.
In his home country, it is estimated that 38.2 million people watched Biden’s speech overnight on sixteen different networks.
Biden reached a much larger audience on Tuesday than he did in his first speech at a joint session of Congress last April. Nielsen estimated that the speech was viewed by 26.9 million people.
More interest in the war in Ukraine this time contributed to a greater audience of Biden’s speech.
On Tuesday, CNN recorded its largest audience of State of the Union speeches since 2009, when he delivered his first speech at a joint sitting of Congress of newly elected President Barack Obama.
Estimates for CNN and Fox News have risen sharply over the past week, reflecting widespread US interest in war coverage.
During the State of the Union era, Fox News had the largest audience, with 6.9 million viewers. ABC is the highest rated broadcast network with 5.9 million viewers, and CNN averages 4.6 million.
Biden’s total audience has been lower than former President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speeches. Trump’s first three speeches at joint sessions of Congress attracted 45 to 48 million viewers; The audience for his final State of the Union dropped to 37 million viewers.
Outside the political arena, TV viewers of live events are declining as more and more people spend more time watching on-demand shows.
Nielsen’s live-TV ratings, not to mention radio and other formats, do not account for all the means to deliver events such as the President’s speech across the Internet.
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