Viewership of President Obama’s State of the Union Address fell to its lowest level in 13 years, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Some 33.5 million viewers watched, down from the 37.8 million who watched in 2012. Obama drew 52.4 million to his first address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24, 2009.
Variety’s ratings guru Rick Kissell reports that the most recent State of the Union to draw a smaller audience than
Tuesday night was the eighth and final one issued by President Clinton, with 31.48 million.
NBC topped the ratings for most viewers, with 6.47 million, while Fox News Channel, with 3.68 million, edging out CNN, with 3.64 million, among the news networks. MSNBC was not too far behind with 3.03 million. The data is from 9:15-10:15 p.m. ET.
For all of primetime, Fox News averaged 3.82 million to 3.36 million for CNN and 2.39 million for MSNBC. CNN led in adults 25-54.
Why the drop in Obama’s ratings? The audience actually has been declining since his first address, but second-term presidents generally experience a falloff, Kissell says.