Biden speech only draws 26.9 million viewers

Daily News Article   —   Posted on April 30, 2021

An estimated 26.9 million people watched President Joe Biden’s address to the Joint Session of Congress Wednesday night across 16 broadcast and cable networks, according to Nielsen figures.

The numbers include viewers watching Biden’s speech on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Telemundo, Univision, PBS, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News, MSNBC, Newsmax, NewsNation and Newsy.

Biden’s number is way down from the 48 million who watched President Donald Trump’s first speech to a joint session on Feb. 28, 2017.

President Barack Obama’s first address to a joint session of Congress in February 2009 drew a whopping 52.3 million viewers, far outstripping Biden’s ratings.

Nielsen reported that the bulk of Biden’s audience — 18.5 million — were 55 and older. The figures include out of home viewing.

Usually the entire Congress, Supreme Court, military leaders and guests attend, numbering 1,500-1,600. Despite all being vaccinated, there were only 200 Congress members – only those invited by the Democrats were permitted to attend – and no guests.

Nielsen did not announce how the numbers broke down for individual networks. Deadline had previously reported that ABC had won the ratings battle, followed by MSNBC, NBC and CBS.

Ratings for CNN, MSNBC and Fox News have all declined since Biden took office, as have ratings for the evening news programs of ABC, NBC and CBS, according to Nielsen statistics.

Watch President Biden’s address to Joint Session of Congress at c-span.  Read the text at

Watch South Carolina Senator Tim Scott’s Republican response to President Biden’s address.