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52.7 Million Watched President Bush’s Economic Crisis Address
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52.7 Million Watched President Bush’s Economic Crisis Address

52.7 million viewers tuned in for President Bush’s speech on the U.S. economic crisis, which aired live Wednesday night from approximately 9:00pm to 9:15pm EST on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, and MSNBC.

  Rating Average Audience

Number

All Households  33.2  38,031,000
Persons 2+  18.2  52,653,000
Source: The Nielsen Company (September 24, 2008)
Note: Sum of audience estimates for ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, and MSNBC.

As a comparison, TV ratings for selected major news events throughout the past two decades are included below.

Event Number of Networks Date Average Combined Household Rating Average Number of Viewers (P2+)
President Ford’s Funeral 8 1/2/2007 11.3 15,028,000
Michael Jackson Trial Verdict 11 – English Language 6/13/2005 21.1 28,115,000
Michael Jackson Trial Verdict 2 – Spanish Language 6/13/2005 14.7 2,470,000
State of the Union 7 1/19/1999 31 43,500,000
Clinton’s Grand Jury Testimony 6 9/21/1998 18.8 22,500,000
Clinton’s Apology Address to Country 8 8/17/1998 46.9 67,600,000
Princess Diana’s Funeral–Sat 6-8am 8 9/6/1997 26.6 33,252,000
OJ Simpson Verdict 10 10/5/1995 42.9 53,925,000
State of Union-Clinton 5 1/25/1994 32.9 45,800,000
Clinton Address re: Health Care 4 9/22/1993 32.8 47,700,000
Joint Session of Congress by Clinton 4 2/17/1993 44.3 66,900,000
Clinton Address on the Economy 4 2/15/1993 42.1 64,300,000
Bush News Conference re: LA Riots 5 5/1/1991 37.1 54,600,000
Gulf War Day One 4 1/16/1991 54.3 85,600,000
Source: The Nielsen Company (2007)

View the full media alert.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in TV Week.