Joe Biden‘s swearing-in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday amassed 39.9 million total viewers across ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel.
That represents a slightly (4 percent) larger TV audience than President Donald Trump’s actual swearing-in ceremony drew back in, gosh, what was it… 2017? It’s also the largest swearing-in audience since President Barack Obama’s first, which drew north of 50 million in 2009.
CNN’s coverage of the half-hour that included Biden’s presidential oath led the TV pack with 9.9 million total viewers, followed distantly by ABC’s 7.7 mil. Rounding out the six-network coverage were NBC (6.9 mil), MSNBC (6.5 mil), CBS (6.1 mil) and Fox News (2.7 mil).
Nielsen has yet to report the grand total for all of the hours-long Inauguration Day ceremony/proceedings. President Trump wound up averaging 30.6 million in 2017. The first Inauguration Day of other previous POTUSes drew average TV audiences as follows: Barack Obama (37.8 million, 2009), 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).