Fox News drew the most viewers for President Donald Trump’s Tuesday night State of the Union address, beating cable and broadcast competitors, according to early Nielsen data.
An average total of 11.546 million people turned on Fox News between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET, when the speech aired live. Of those, 2.667 million viewers were in the advertiser-coveted age range of 25-54. The next closest total in cable came from CNN, which brought in 2.786 million viewers, with 946,000 in the sought-after demographic. Finally, MSNBC had 2.239 million total viewers tune in from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., 478,000 of whom were in the demo.
That ranking — Fox News first, CNN second and MSNBC third — stayed in order through the Democratic response to Trump’s speech, broadcast at 10:30 p.m. ET, after the address’ conclusion. From 10:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m., Fox News saw 7.940 million total viewers, of whom 1.967 million were in the demo. CNN had 2.924 million total viewers with 970,000 between 25-54. A total of 2.853 million watched the Democratic response on MSNBC and 587,000 of those were in the demo.
Trump’s Tuesday night speech was his third as president and was down 26% in broadcast viewers from his second. According to early Nielsen returns, CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox drew a combined 16 million viewers for the 2020 address. That tally is preliminary, however, and should be considered subject to (upward) adjustment. It’s worth noting that all four of the broadcast channels still beat CNN and MSNBC in average total viewers during the address. Fox did not carry the Democratic response, but ABC, NBC and CBS all also beat CNN and MSNBC from 10:30 p.m. ET to 10:45 p.m. ET.