In Depth

State of the Union Lowest-Rated of Bush’s Term

An estimated 37.52 million total viewers saw President Bush’s seventh and final State of the Union speech Monday night on nine broadcast and cable networks, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research.

That audience is the lowest of the Bush administration and is down significantly from the 45.49 million viewers the president’s speech drew in 2007 on the same number of television platforms.

Among cable channels, where the comment and analysis ran well into the night, Fox News Channel’s viewership during the speech itself was bigger than both of its chief competitors combined.

From 9 to 10:03 p.m., Fox averaged 4.48 million viewers, while CNN drew 2.69 million viewers and MSNBC registered 1.18 million viewers.

Fox also ruled in the preferred news demographic with some 1.41 million viewers age 25 to 54. CNN attracted some 883,000 25- to 54-year-old viewers, followed by MSNBC with 521,000 in the demo.