Fox TV, which moved “American Idol” to 8 p.m. as a lead-in, drew the biggest share of the audience for Wednesday’s speech.
The 48 million was 7 percent lower than for President George W. Bush’s first such address in 2002 but 5 percent higher than for President Bill Clinton’s inaugural State of the Union speech in 1994.
From 9-10 p.m. EST, more than 9.7 million people watched the hour-plus speech on Fox, with ABC drawing 7.6 million viewers, NBC 7.2 million and CBS 6.2 million, according to preliminary Nielsen figures Thursday.
Among the cable news networks, Fox News was the leader with 5.7 million, followed by CNN with 3.3 million and MSNBC with 2.4 million. The speech also was carried live on Telemundo, Univision, BET and CNBC.