Friday’s coverage of Donald J. Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States amassed 30.6 million total viewers, Nielsen reports.
That tally — which accounts for live coverage from approximately 10 am to 6 pm ET, across ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Galavision, HLN and MSNBC — falls 19 percent below the audience for Barack Obama’s own first swearing-in (37.8 million), on Jan. 20, 2009, when a quarter of all households tuned in.
In D.C., Obama’s 2009 inauguration drew an in-person crowd of 1.8 million, while Trump’s… well, we quite frankly may never really know. Unvetted reports have ranged from 250,000 people to the “largest [inauguration crowd] ever” (per newly installed White House press secretary Sean Spicer). The National Park Service ceased estimating how many people attend events on the National Mall after a dispute over the headcount for the Million Man March in 1995.
The first inauguration of some previous POTUSes drew TV audiences as follows: George W. Bush (29 million, 2001), Bill Clinton (29.7 million, 1993), George H.W. Bush (23.3 million, 1989), Ronald Reagan (41.8 million, 1981), Jimmy Carter (34.1 million, 1977) and Richard Nixon (27 million, 1969).