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Presidential Inauguration Draws 20.6 Million Viewers
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Presidential Inauguration Draws 20.6 Million Viewers

Some 20.6 million people tuned in to watch President Obama’s second inauguration on television on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. While coverage varied by network, 18 networks aired live coverage from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. The first table below highlights the sum of the average audience for these networks.

While viewership was down 17.2 million people—or 46 percent—for Obama’s second inauguration, it did hold pace with the drop-off that George W. Bush’s second term inauguration experienced. In fact, viewership has historically slid for second term inaugurations. Pres. Richard Nixon is the only president in recent history that has seen an increase; he notched a 22 percent increase during his second term inauguration.

Monday, Jan. 21, 2013

 
  Entire Inaugural 10a.m. – 4:30p.m. (ET) Rating Number of Viewers  
  Households 14 16,020,000  
  Persons 2+ 7.1 20,552,000  
 

Inauguration Day Coverage

 
Date (January 20) President HH Rating (% of U.S. TV Households Tuned) Number of Households Number Persons+2  
2009 – Tue
Barack Obama
25.5
28,906,000
37,793,000
 
2005 – Thu
George W. Bush
11.8
12,928,709
15,536,652
 
2001 – Sat
George W. Bush
20.8
21,346,400
29,008,200
 
1997- Mon
Bill Clinton
17.1
16,515,000
21,583,000
 
1993 – Wed
Bill Clinton
24.5
22,758,111
29,721,041
 
1989 – Fri
George H.W. Bush
20.0
18,106,000
23,316,325
 
1985 – Mon*
Ronald Reagan
22.3
18,925,556
25,053,886
 
1981 – Tue
Ronald Reagan
37.4
29,100,000
41,800,260
 
1977 – Thu
Jimmy Carter
31.5
22,430,000
34,127,090
 
1973 – Sat
Richard Nixon
28.5
18,470,000
32,950,900
 
1969 – Mon
Richard Nixon
33.5
18,870,000
27,007,700
 
*The 1985 inauguration was held publicly on Monday, Jan. 21.
Source: Nielsen

2013 Networks Included: The 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. viewing numbers includes programming provided by ABC, CBS, NBC, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO, AZTECA, MundoFox, PBS, Fox News Channel, CNN Headline News, Fox Business Network, MSNBC, TV One, CNN, Current TV, CNBC, CENTRIC and BET.

2009 Networks Included: The 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. viewing numbers includes programming provided by ABC, CBS, NBC, UNIVISION, BBCA, BET, CNN, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, and TVONE. Contributing to these viewing numbers are TELEMUNDO, CNBC, ESPN, CNN HEADLINE, MTV, MTV2, MTVTR3S who aired programming approximately between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. ET.

For historical information on previous debates and additional political information from the current campaign, please visit Nielsen Wire here.