Obama’s State of the Union Address Has Fewest Viewers Since 2000

Barely one in ten Americans watch the president explain his plan for their futures

Last Updated: July 10, 2014 @ 7:00 PM

President Obama’s State of the Union Address brought in 33.3 million combined viewers over the airwaves and on cable — the smallest audience for the annual speech since 2000, according to Nielsen numbers.

Last year, 33.5 million people tuned in. The audience has steadily declined each year of Obama’s presidency, with more dramatic drops in recent years.

The 2014 total means that roughly one in 10 Americans tuned in. To compare, Fox’s NFC Championship Game brought in 55.6 million viewers.

See video: Congressman Threatens Reporter After State of the Union Interview: ‘I Will Break You in Half’

In terms of household ratings, the 20.7 that the address earned is the lowest combined number in the history of the measurement. Nielsen has been measuring TV viewing since 1950, but only have on-hand data for the State of the Union address sum (of all networks’ audience) going back to 1993.

The address was carried live from 9:00 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. on 13 networks and tape-delayed on Univision. CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, Azteca, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Al Jazeera America, Galavision, and Mun2 carried the speech live.

Also read: Obama Says Enough With Anti-Women Policies That ‘Belong in a ‘Mad Men’ Episode’ in State of the Union Address

In terms of the address’ social media reach, 8.8 million people saw at least one of the 2.1 million tweets sent in the U.S. about the “State of The Union 2014,” according to Nielsen SocialGuide. Each person in the Twitter TV Unique Audience saw, on average, 29 tweets about the TV event.

Twitter activity about the airing spiked at 9:47 p.m., with 32,918 tweets sent following President Obama’s reference to “equal pay.”


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