President Trump Ratings Joint Address

Ratings: Trump's First Address to Congress Falls Short of Obama's

President Donald Trump’s Address to Congress on Tuesday night amassed 25.3 million total viewers across the Big 4 broadcast networks (per finals), down 25 percent from the 33.6 mil who tuned in via ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox for President Obama’s first such address circa February 2009.

UPDATE, WITH CABLE: With Fox News (10.8 mil), CNN (4.0 mil) and MSNBC (2.7 mil) and Fox Business News folded in, the audience swells to 43.4 mil, which is down 17 percent from Obama 2009’s all-inclusive total (52.4 mil). In total audience (cable included), Trump’s address is up 39 percent from Obama’s final State of the Union, and marks the most-watched address to congress since 2010 (when Obama drew 48 mil).

Elsewhere on the night….

NBC | The Voice (11.3 mil/2.6) was down 8 and 14 percent year-over-year.

ABC | Airing an hour earlier, Fresh Off the Boat (4.6 mil/1.2) and Real O’Neals (3.6 mil/1.1) were both up.

THE CW | The Flash (2.8 mil/1.1) rose a tenth.

FOX | New Girl (2.2 mil/0.9) dipped, while The Mick (2.5 mil/0.9) was steady.

Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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60 Comments
  1. Ken says:

    Doesn’t matter. The monster in the White House will say he had the biggest ratings ever for anyone giving a speech to Congress. The monster is a liar of epic proportions. And his followers believe every lie he spews.

    • Brian says:

      Or he’ll only use Fox News ratings (which will likely be bigger) since everything else is “fake news” to him and doesn’t count.

  2. Butch says:

    Careful Matt you will be accused of spreading fake news. The liberal rating services will be accused of falsifying the results.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I was extra diligent and triple checked the historical data! And was sure to denote high up (since people don’t read anymore) the prelim cable news numbers, since people will say, “But… cable!” ;)

      • MMD says:

        Matt I would never question anyone’s ratings on this site because I depend on them to be correct. And for anyone who questions why these are posted, this is a tv/movie site and they are always posted. There are some articles where political discussions or comments are appropriate, but not this time. Ratings are posted every day with cable later. smdh

  3. When did ratings for political events become important?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Not a political event. A TV event. Compared to the ratings for relevant prior TV event.

      • Michaela says:

        Oh, please. Did you also compare Obama’s ratings to Bush’s ratings? If you did, could you please include a link? It starts to come off as petty and childish.

        • lizzie says:

          Michaela, actually you’re the one who’s coming off as petty and childish. Just like your president.

          • RD says:

            No…Michaela is making a valid point…TVLine is no better than the rest of the lame stream media lately! We get it…you hate Trump! And last I checked….whether you like it or not lizzle…he’s your President too!

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          We weren’t around in 2009 to make the comparison, this was but a glimmer in my and Ausiello’s eye! (But since you inquired, Obama 2009 drew 52.4 million with cable included, versus GWB 2001’s 39.8 million.)

          TVLine’s SOTU headlines:

          Ratings: State of the Union Dips vs. 2015
          Ratings: State of the Union at 15-Year Low
          Ratings: State of the Union Dips a Bit Vs. 2013
          Ratings: State of the Union Down Year-to-Year
          Ratings: Obama’s Numbers Hold Up [vs. 2011]

          #IGoogleSoYouDontHaveTo

    • Hurley says:

      Man, they always show ratings on this site. Lets not complain about everything <3

    • Pedro says:

      When the president is more concerns with ratings than the country.

    • delorb says:

      They have ALWAYS been important. Or did you miss the stories about the Kennedy/Nixon televised debate? Everything the president does on TV (and prior to that radio) is measured. And giving the numbers wouldn’t make any sense unless there is something to COMPARE it to. Jeez. You guys think every story that isn’t praising Trump is a hatchet job.

  4. Mary says:

    3, 2, 1 – waiting for the tweet to claim no way it was huge.

  5. George de Bruin says:

    Is it not what the Bible warned us of false prophets. End the speech we all made by one God. What are the Muslims and Jews made of.

  6. Pedro says:

    Trump will tweet these are fake ratings in 3, 2, 1…

  7. I really wish you guys would stick to TV reporting and not politics. Plenty of places to debate politics. Or if you do want to force politics on this site, which is your right since it’s your site, it would be nice if whoever runs the site was a little more tolerant of views that aren’t left wing.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Google “state of the union ratings TVLine.” Have covered them every year. It is a TV event as much as Oscars, Super Bowl or inauguration.

      • Not necessarily talking about this one article. There’s been a few things, and I’m a little ticked that I got blocked by tvline on twitter and didn’t write anything nasty. It felt very intolerant. I know the lines and make it a point not to cross them. It’s of course your right to block anyone, but I felt that that was a pretty itchy trigger finger for someone in media, and it was extremely intolerant.

        Also, I just googled what you asked. If this wasn’t a politically spun article, the headline might have said, that the ratings are up from last year’s State of the Union by 33.3 percent. Last year, according to TVLine, Obama’s final speech got 17.7 million viewers, as opposed to Trump getting 23.6 this year. Spin.

        And according to the Huffington Post, Bush’s smallest audience was 37.5 million in 2008. Did TVLine have a headline that Obama’s first speech was down from Bush’s last one?

        • Mary says:

          Look up in the responses, he has the ratings per someone else request and sarcastic remark like yours. Seriously, if you were blocked it had to be for a reason, because they seem to be tolerant of quite a bit.

          • The only logical reason was I don’t agree with them politically, and spoke out. No cursing, nothing beyond any line a reasonable and tolerant person would object to. It was just a weak decision. I would gladly talk about it with them, but I can’t because well, blocked.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            I will investigate, “Marc C”; typically only those who tweet coarse language at @TVLine, or boorishly troll us, get outright blocked.

          • Matt, I would appreciate that. I 100 percent guarantee there was no cursing. I don’t believe there was trolling either, as I only see one response to the TVLine twitter account in the last month or so. A few to Michael Ausielo, but he didn’t block my account. It just seemed so odd.

        • RD says:

          Don’t count on TVLine to give Trump any kind of credit unless it’s negatively-based. They’re in the business to spread their intolerant nature like the rest of the liberal media. And it doesn’t surprise me that you were blocked too. You can only think their way, or it’s the highway!

          • It really is a shame. When the left is so intolerant to the point where they block you for not thinking like them, it’s no wonder the country is so divided. But either way, the reality is Trump’s speech was higher than Obama’s last SOTU.

        • SG says:

          Get over it. Go back to your safe space you precious little snowflake.

    • lizzie says:

      Maybe you need to re-read the article. It was about RATINGS, not politics. There was not one mention of his warped views or the fact that he’s a compulsive liar.

    • ndixit says:

      This thread isn’t even political. It’s a ratings post which is posted every day. As for political views, withTrump, it is hardly a matter of left or right wing. It really is about the dislike there is of him.

  8. Considering most of middle America were in closets and tornado shelters during the time of the speech – I can understand the dip.

  9. nazi, racist bigot homophobe…nazi racist bigot homophobe squawk squawk, polly wants a cracker, nazi racist bigot homophobe…….I can virtue signal by repeating memes like a well trained parrot, does that mean I can now sit at the cool kids table?

  10. Amy says:

    I just couldn’t bring myself to listen to the blowhard spewing his b.s. in that horrible voice whiny voice of his. I have heard enough of his lies and am done torturing myself by listening to his lies.

    • Tom says:

      Exactly how I felt the past 16 years with Obama and Bush! So glad Trump is here to change that up

      • MMD says:

        Be very careful what you wish for because at least Obama and Bush were good and decent human beings who tried their best. Now don’t come trolling me because I don’t live in the US, and my perspective is from the outside looking in and it sure as hell isn’t positive.

  11. Diane Raetz says:

    Why would I waste my time watching a compulsive liar

  12. kmw says:

    And last night will make our narcissist in chief think even bigger of himself. Luckily there were other things to watch last not besides him. Good for The Flash going up and everything else did ok

  13. Brigid says:

    He is hard to look at, if it was on radio it would have had better ratings!!! ;)

  14. Steven says:

    How many streamed it vs how many streamed Obama in 2009? TV ratings for live political events don’t come close to telling the whole viewership story any more.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      The story will be updated later with cable viewership folded in. (“Streaming” is an imperfectly tabulated measure, and obviously wasn’t around in any meaningful way back in 2009.)

      • Steven says:

        Exactly why you can’t compare viewership for live political events between now and then in any meaningful way. But you knew that when you wrote this lame hit-piece on our President.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Cable numbers are now added, gap closed some.

          As for streaming I can only offer two references to recent major events: Inauguration (per one guesstimation) had 4.6 million watching online (on a Friday), while Super Bowl (live weekend event) had 1.7 million.

          Have a good night everyone!

          • jb says:

            Nice job. I am anti Hate, so obviously not a fan of the left, but this article was about ratings without political commentary.

      • Marie58 says:

        But you have to figure in streaming now, because for millions of people they are choosing streaming over network and cable television. To dismiss streaming as imperfect and not meaningful means the whole tabulation is skewed. Which means you can’t compare ratings from 2009 with ratings from 2017. Unless you include streaming.

  15. Yoko says:

    I watched shows I had on DVR. I will not tune in to see the cheeto speek.

    • Ninamags says:

      Hey! So did I! Watched the first 2 Walking Dead of the new second half. After watching The Flash, of course. It was a great episode. Bonus points for Barry since he didn’t kill.