Viewership of the State of the Union address continues to wane, with early numbers suggesting perhaps the lowest tune-in for the annual event in 15 years.
Nielsen won’t issue cume numbers until later Wednesday or Thursday, but Fox News (3.471 million), CNN (2.557 million) and MSNBC (1.995 million) combined to draw a little over 8 million viewers from 9 to 10:15 p.m. ET, according to preliminary estimates. This is down from 9.1 million last year and 10.35 million in 2013.
CNN was the only one of of the three networks to rise vs. last year, bouncing back from what turned out to be its smallest SOTU tune-in in nine years.
In adults 25-54, CNN led the way with 1.021 million during the address — up a big 40% from last year. It was followed by Fox News (834,168), which had its smallest demo audience since 2000, and MSNBC (473,460), which had its smallest in eight years.
For the 9-11 p.m. ET period, which includes post-address coverage, Fox News drew 3.485 million viewers and 827,819 in the demo, while CNN averaged 2.375 million and a first-place 982,428 in the demo. MSNBC drew about 2 million overall, including about 494,000 in the demo.