Donald Trump’s second State of the Union is currently up about 3 percent in Big 4 broadcast viewers from his first. In the key 18-49 demographic, he’s even.
Across NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox, Tuesday’s speech averaged a combined 21.6 million total viewers and a 4.6 demo rating, per Nielsen’s fast-affiliate ratings. Those numbers are not adjusted for time zone differences, however. Univision added another 1.4 million viewers, Telemundo was good for its own 1.2 million.
Based on the imperfect data we’ve got so far, NBC led the way with 6.6 million viewers and a 1.5 speech rating. CBS had 6 million viewers and a 1.1 in the demo. ABC got 5 million viewers and a 0.9 rating. Fox received 4 million viewers and a 1.1 rating.
Read the evening’s earlier-available overnight numbers for the English-language broadcast nets here. Those account for time zones, but they only count 56 metered markets and do not spit out a viewer number.
Trump’s 2018 SOTU — his first, which also encompassed a 90-minute time slot — averaged a 1.6 rating and 6.5 million total viewers on NBC, a 1.2 rating and 6.7 million total viewers on CBS, a 1.0 rating and 4.6 million total viewers on ABC, and a 0.8 rating and 3.1 million total viewers. on Fox. Those Fox figures do not count the 10-10:30 window, which is general local programming on Fox stations.
Anyway, those year-ago numbers combined for a 4.6 rating and 20.9 million total viewers across the Big 4 broadcasters.
Stats for the cable news networks will come later. Surely, Fox News Channel cannot wait for that.
When all was said and done, Trump’s first State of the Union drew an estimated 45.6 million total viewers across 12 channels.
The State of the Union Address wasn’t the only telecast on broadcast TV’s schedules last night.
NBC was first in ratings with a 1.4 rating/6 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 6.3 million, according to preliminary numbers. “Ellen’s Game of Games” at 8 p.m. posted a 1.4/6 and 6.4 million viewers. Trump’s speech roughly ran from 9-10:30. Stacey Abrams’ response at 10:30 had a 1.1/5 and 5.1 million viewers.
Fox was second in ratings with a 1.0/4, but fourth in viewers with 3.6 million. A “Masked Singer” rerun led in to Trump’s speech. Abrams’ response at 10:30 had a 0.9 rating and 3.4 million viewers.
CBS and ABC tied for third in ratings, both with a 0.9/4. CBS was second in total viewers with 5.3 million, ABC was third with 4.5 million.
For CBS, a “World’s Best” repeat opened primetime, giving way to Trump at 9. Abrams’ averaged a 0.8/4 and 4.4 million viewers when her turn came.
For ABC, “American Housewife” at 8 got a 0.8/4 and 4.7 million viewers. At 8:30, “The Kids Are Alright” received a 0.8/3 and 3.8 million viewers. After Trump, Abrams closed the night to a 0.7/3 and 3.9 million viewers.
The CW was fifth in ratings with a 0.5/2 and in viewers with 1.6 million. “The Flash” at 8 had a 0.7/3 and 1.9 million viewers. Not cutting to Trump, “Roswell, New Mexico” at 9 got a 0.4/1 and 1.2 million viewers.
Univision and Telemundo tied for sixth in ratings, both with a 0.4/2. Univision was sixth in total viewers with 1.4 million, Telemundo was seventh with 1.2 million.