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President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address from 9 pm to 10:15 pm ET on Tuesday averaged 38.2 million viewers.
Here’s the breakdown by network:
- Fox News: 7.1 million
- ABC: 6.3 million
- CBS: 4.9 million
- CNN: 4.8 million
- NBC: 4.7 million
- MSNBC: 4.0 million
- Fox broadcast: 1.8 million
Biden’s speech marked Fox News’ highest-rated State of the Union address in history for a Democratic president, a record previously held by then-President Obama’s speech in 2010.
The broadcast channels — ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox — are in far more homes than the cable networks — CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — are. So to see Fox News lead all of cable and broadcast, and for CNN to top NBC, is rather noteworthy.
Meanwhile, ABC and CNN scored wins in the coveted 25-54 demographic. ABC’s 1.54 demo rating won the night and CNN’s 1.17 led all of cable. Fox News and MSNBC drew 0.97 and 0.36, respectively.
Interest in the Russia and Ukraine crisis undoubtedly bolstered Tuesday night’s overall viewership. The news networks have all experienced higher than normal turnouts since Russia’s invasion last week. And Biden spent the first 20 minutes of the speech addressing Ukraine.
As a result, Biden’s address easily outdrew the 27 million he averaged during his first joint session of Congress last April.
In addition, Biden edged out Trump’s final State of the Union average of 37 million. However, Trump’s first three speeches averaged between 45 and 48 million viewers.
So Fox News, CNN and ABC were winners of the State of the Union, while MSNBC, an ally of Biden’s, was the loser.
But the biggest losers of the night were the viewers who sat through the speech. After Biden finished condemning Vladimir Putin, he delved into a series of lies and inaccuracies about the state of our country.