Obama speech draws 33.5 million TV viewers
Posted February 13, 2013
About 33.5 million people tuned in to watch President Obama outline his agenda for a second term during his State of the Union Address, Nielsen said Wednesday.
That's the smallest TV viewing audience for one of Obama's speeches to a joint session of Congress, according to figures by the TV ratings company. Last year, 37.8 million people watched Obama deliver the annual speech.
Obama was forceful in his hour-long remarks on Tuesday night, calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage, overhaul the nation's immigration system and approve new gun-control measures. His speech was a companion to his address last month at his public inauguration.
A presidential address isn't nearly the draw of the Super Bowl, which had an audience that topped 109 million this year, according to Nielsen data. But Obama's speeches have done better than a new episode of NCIS, the highly rated CBS drama, which pulled in more than 21.8 million people a couple of weeks ago.
About 52.4 million people watched Obama's remarks in 2009. That technically was not a State of the Union speech, but it was Obama's first speech to a joint session of Congress as president.
Nielsen said Tuesday night's State of the Union Address was carried live on 15 broadcast and cable networks from about 9 p.m. ET to 10:15 p.m. ET. The speech was tape delayed on Univision.
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