Nearly 48 Million Americans Watch Pres. Donald Trump’s First Address to Congress

Nearly 48 Million Americans Watch Pres. Donald Trump’s First Address to Congress

An estimated 48 million people tuned in to watch Donald Trump’s first address to a Joint Session of Congress (the traditional first-term equivalent of the State of the Union) in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017.

While coverage varied by network, 11 aired live coverage from approximately 9:00 p.m. ET to 10:15 p.m. ET.

In terms of the social nature of the address, the most-Tweeted minute of the night was at 10:04 p.m. ET when 21,000 Twitter interactions occurred after the audience applauded the widow of a fallen Navy SEAL.

The chart below highlights the sum of the average audience for these networks.

2017 First Address to Joint Session of Congress

Sum of Networks Live + Same Day
  Feb. 28, 2017
  Rating Number of Viewers
All Households 28.7 33,857,000
Persons 2+ 15.9 47,741,000
Persons 18-34 6.5 4,594,000
Persons 35-54 15.4 12,392,000
Persons 55+ 31.9 28,307,000
Source: Nielsen, NNTV, Summary file for Presidential address 02/28/17 based on program average for Broadcast and originator with strict daypart averages for common coverage times for cable (9:00 pm-10:15 pm)

2017 Networks Included: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UNI, PBS, CNN, Fox Business Net, FOXNC, MSNBC, and NBC Universo

Historical First Presidential Address to JSOC Coverage

Date HH Rating (% of U.S. TV Households Tuned) No. of Households No. of Persons 2+ President
2/24/2009 32.5 37,185,000 52,373,000 Barack Obama
2/27/2001 27.6 28,201,000 39,793,000 George W. Bush
2/17/1993 44.3 41,200,000 66,900,000 Bill Clinton
Note: 2/17/93, 2/27/01 and 2/24/09 officially the “Address to the Joint Sessions of Congress”

2009 Networks Included: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TEL, UNI, CNBC, CNN, FOXNC, and MSNBC 
2001 Networks Included: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, and MSNBC 
1993 Networks Included: ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN