January 17, 2019

40 Million Watched Trump’s Prime-Time Address on TV

Even in its heyday, “The Apprentice” never earned ratings like this.

President Trump’s appearance in network prime time on Tuesday — a nine-minute speech from the Oval Office on border security that mostly recycled his usual talking points — drew roughly 40 million television viewers, according to statistics released on Wednesday by Nielsen.

That audience fell short of Mr. Trump’s State of the Union address last January, which drew about 45.6 million viewers, and past landmark presidential moments, like Barack Obama’s announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011, which reached 56.5 million people.

But Mr. Trump’s appearance edged Mr. Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address (31.3 million), a 2014 speech that Mr. Obama delivered about the Islamic State (34.1 million) and, for good measure, the first-season finale of “The Apprentice” in 2004 (28 million).

The decision by broadcast networks to pre-empt programming for Mr. Trump, who requested time to discuss the government shutdown, touched off a vigorous debate.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/09/business/media/president-trump-speech-ratings.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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