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TV Ratings: State of the Union Address Draws 32M, Up Double Digits

The 2024 State of the Union address drew a larger TV audience than the 2023 address.

President Joe Biden’s speech to Congress averaged 32.23 million viewers across 14 broadcast and cable outlets, almost 5 million more viewers than the 2023 State of the Union. Viewership rose on all of the largest outlets as Biden’s address grew by about 18 percent.

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The vast majority of viewers — 28.47 million — watched the State of the Union on the big four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC) and the three largest cable news outlets (CNN, Fox News and MSNBC). All seven outlets drew a bigger audience than they did for last year’s address.

Fox News led all outlets with 5.84 million viewers for Biden’s speech, beating out the 5.24 million for ABC, which had the biggest tune-in among the broadcast networks. NBC’s 4.47 million viewers finished third, followed by MSNBC (4.43 million, its biggest audience ever for a State of the Union), CBS (4.09 million), CNN (2.63 million) and the Fox broadcast network (1.77 million).

Univision (970,000 viewers) fell a little from 1.08 million for last year’s State of the Union, while Telemundo (900,000) gained 64,000 viewers, bringing the total for the address 30.34 million. The averages for both Spanish-language networks encompass pre- and post-speech analysis and the Republican response. The remaining 1.89 million viewers viewers came via CNNe, Fox Business, Newsmax, NewsNation and PBS.

Even without factoring in other broadcast and cable channels, the audience on the seven biggest networks surpassed the all-network total of 27.31 million viewers last year. Thursday’s speech was the second largest address to Congress of Biden’s term, behind the 38.2 million who watched the 2022 State of the Union.

NBC had the most viewers in the core news demographic of adults 25-54 with 1.18 million, just ahead of the 1.14 million for Fox News and 1.07 million for ABC. CBS averaged 824,000 viewers in 25-54 demo, followed by CNN (710,000), MSNBC (695,000) and Fox’s broadcast coverage (517,000).

March 8, 2:50 p.m. Updated with final averages for CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

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