Trump address ratings below Obama's first
Donald Trump may have gotten better-than-expected reviews for his first prime-time address to Congress on Tuesday night, but the ratings suggest Americans were less interested in watching him than Barack Obama’s debut address as president.
Trump’s “Renewal of the American Spirit” speech was seen by 48 million viewers across the major broadcast and cable news networks, according to Nielsen (including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, FBN, and Univision). Obama’s first address in 2009 averaged 52.4 million viewers. That’s 9 percent drop, though there’s also been an increase in online viewing over the past eight years. Fox News was the most-watched channel for the speech, with 10.8 million viewers.
That number was above Obama’s final speech as president (31.3 million) last year, and above George W. Bush’s first speech in 2001 (39.8 million). All were far below Bill Clinton’s first speech in 1992 (66.9 million).
The telecast drew plenty of scorn from Hollywood celebrities online (here’s a rundown of their reactions). Afterward, Stephen Colbert went live for CBS’ The Late Show (“Any chance there’s a mistake and Moonlight is the president?” he quipped). Here’s Colbert’s monologue.