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Bush nom draws auds

Fox leads way with 3.3 million viewers

President Bush’s speech announcing his pick for the Supreme Court delivered big numbers for cable news nets, which spent much of the day Tuesday speculating on whom the nominee would be.

Fox News Channel led the way with 3.3 million viewers for the first half of the hour — a 89% increase over its July average for the time period. CNN drew 1.2 million viewers for the speech, a 31% increase, and MSNBC had 504,000, a 145% jump, according to Nielsen.

Some 29.2 million people in 22 million households watched on nine networks as the president announced that John Roberts is his high court nominee.

Speech, which ran from 9-9:15 p.m. ET, drew a 20.2/36 rating, up from the 16.1/29 for the president’s June 28 speech on the administration’s Iraq war strategy, which aired from 8-8:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s speech was carried live by ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, Court TV, Fox News, Headline News and MSNBC.

It was the president’s second primetime speech of the summer and the third primetime address he’s given so far in 2005, compared to one in 2004 and four in 2003.

CBS and NBC joined original episodes of reality skeins “Big Brother” and “I Want to Be a Hilton” in progress.

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