Biden's State of the Union draws over 38 million viewers, falling shy of Trump's first SOTU

Trump's first State of the Union, in 2018, drew 45.6 million viewers.

Updated: March 3, 2022 - 11:13am

Nielsen ratings show roughly 38.2 million TV viewers on Tuesday night watched President Biden's first State of the Union address. 

That figure was higher than the 37.2 million watched President Trump's final, 2020 address but was roughly 7 million less than the 45.6 million who turned on his first, in 2018.

This year's final tally, according to Nielsen, will include out-of-home viewing and viewership on streaming services such as  Roku.

In 2020, Biden addressed a joint session of Congress, which presidents give after their first few months in the White House, attracting about 27 million views. Trump's similar address in 2017, drew 47.7 million, according to the Associated Press.

Nielsen measured viewership on the 16 networks and channels that aired live coverage of Biden's roughly hour-long address. Fox News drew the highest audience, with an estimated 7.2 million viewers, followed by ABC with 6.3 million, CBS with 4.9 million, CNN with 4.8 million, NBC's 4.7 million and MSNBC's 4.1 million.