Biden’s State of the Union address draws 32 million TV viewers, topping last year’s speech

(Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press)

Biden’s State of the Union address draws 32 million TV viewers, topping last year’s speech

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Stephen Battaglio

March 8, 2024

President Joe Biden’s spirited State of the Union address on Thursday saw a significant increase in ratings

to with

last year’s speech.

Nielsen data showed that the average TV audience across the 14 networks that carried the event was 32.2 million viewers, an increase of 18% from the 27.3 million watching in 2023.

The number lagged behind Biden’s most-watched State of the Union address in 2022, which averaged 38.2 million viewers.

The speech to a joint session of Congress was highly anticipated as the 81-year-old Biden has been plagued by questions about whether he is physically and cognitively ready for another term. He faces a nail-biting re-election contest against his predecessor this fall


and presumptive Republican nominee, former President Trump.

Biden appeared robust and combative during the speech, which lasted just over an hour. Even the president’s critics said the move would likely silence any calls to replace him at the top of the Democratic ticket.

Fox News had the most TV viewers with an average of 5.8 million viewers from 9:15 to 10:45 PM Eastern. This figure was 20% higher than last year’s coverage on the network.

It was the third year in a row that Fox News had the largest audience for the annual speech.

ABC ranked second with 5.2 million viewers, followed by NBC (4.5 million), MSNBC (4.3 million), CBS (4.1 million), CNN (2.6 million), Fox broadcast network (1.8 million) and Fox Business Network (244,000), and CNBC (112,000). The speech was also carried by NewsNation, Telemundo, Univision, PBS, Newsmax and CNN




The speech was likely watched by millions of people via online video streams.

While no official third-party data is available, Fox News said it counted 1.6 million livestreams on its digital properties during the speech. ABC News said the audience for the stream on ABC News Live doubled last year, but did not say how many people live there

streamed the speech.


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