*President Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress was not as popular among television viewers as that of his predecessor, according to Nielsen’s metered market overnight ratings.
Across seven networks — ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC — Trump’s speech notched a 27.8 household rating in those early ratings. Across these same networks, President Obama’s first address of a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24, 2009, drew an overnight household rating of 33.4, a difference of about 17%.
Predictably, Fox News drew the biggest household rating of the seven, with a 6.4. It was followed by NBC (5.5), CBS (4.6), ABC (4.0), CNN (3.0), Fox Broadcasting (2.3), and MSNBC (2.0).
Final ratings will be available from Nielsen Wednesday this afternoon. However, President Obama’s first address ended up pulling in an audience of 52.37 million people across the four broadcast networks, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, and Univision. The audience for President George W. Bush’s first address, at 39.79 million, was overshadowed by the State of the Union Address he delivered in 2003, which brought in 62.06 million viewers.
Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” went live so that Colbert could address the speech, and was rewarded in the overnight ratings with another win over Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” and Jimmy Kimmel’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” drawing a 2.7 household rating to a 2.2 for the “Tonight Show” and a 1.9 for Kimmel.
Watch Colbert’s live opening monologue below: