President Donald Trump’s third State of the Union address drew fewer viewers than the year prior, which is completely in keeping with historical trends for the annual political event.
Per the preliminary numbers for ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC combined, Tuesday night’s SOTU amassed 16 million total viewers, down 22 percent from what the Big 4 put up in 2019. (Even if you added in The CW, which carried the event in some markets such as this here greater tri-state area, broadcast-TV’s total barely breaks 17 mil.)
For historical context, Obama’s fourth such address was down 12 percent from the year prior, GWB’s was down 30 percent, and Clinton’s dipped 4 percent.
Of the broadcast nets, CBS led SOTU coverage with 4.6 million viewers, followed very closely by NBC, and then ABC and Fox.
FINAL UPDATE: With Telemundo, Univision, PBS, CNN, CNNe, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel and MSNBC now folded in, the total audience reached 37.2 million — down 21 percent from last year’s State of the Union, which was Trump’s second, since he led off his presidency in 2017 with what was called an “address before a joint session of Congress.”
Elsewhere on Tuesday….
FOX | Airing in a special time slot, 24 Hours to Hell and Back (3.1 mil/0.8) easily hit season highs.
THE CW | The Flash (1.29 mil/0.4, average TVLine reader grade “B+”) ticked down from its most recent, pre-crossover episode, matching its series low in the demo. Legends of Tomorrow (788K/0.2) added some eyeballs while steady in the demo, but may have a smidgen of SOTU goosing those numbers.
NBC | Ellen’s Game of Games (5 mil/1.0) was steady.
The Live+Same Day numbers reported in our daily-ish ratings column do not reflect a show’s overall performance, given the increases in delayed playback via DVR and streaming platforms. These Live+Same Day numbers instead are used to illustrate any trends or high/low superlatives. Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.