State of the Union: Fox News is most-watched network, outdraws all cable and broadcast options

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Fox News Channel was the most-watched network in all of television on Tuesday for President Biden’s first State of the Union address.

Fox News averaged 6.9 million viewers when Biden spoke from 9-10:15 p.m. ET, compared to  6 million for runner-up ABC. 

Fox News had its highest-rated State of the Union address in history for a Democratic president among total viewership, topping the network’s previous record for then-President Obama’s speech in 2010.

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington. (Saul Loeb, Pool via AP)

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington. (Saul Loeb, Pool via AP)
(Saul Loeb, Pool via AP)

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CBS attracted 4.6 million, NBC and CNN delivered 4.5 million each, MSNBC averaged 4 million, and another 1.8 million tuned in on FOX. 

Americans also flocked to FOX News Digital, where a livestream of Biden’s State of the Union attracted nearly 3.8 million video starts, according to Adobe Analytics, CrowdTangle, and YouTube.

Fox News Channel also drew the largest audience for coverage of the GOP response from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, airing from 10:30-10:45 p.m. ET with an average viewership of 5.9 million. 

Fox News was the most engaged brand on social media in the news competitive set on the day of Biden’s address to the nation, with 1.8 million total interactions between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram combined for a 20% increase over CNN, according to Emplifi and CrowdTangle. 

Many viewers stuck around, as Fox News averaged 5.9 million viewers for immediate analysis from 10:30-10:45 p.m. ET, crushing other options in the process. ABC finished second with 3.5 million during that time. 

Fox News averaged 6.1 million during the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. ET, followed by 3.5 million for CNN and 3.2 million for MSNBC. 

Fox News Channel was the most-watched network in all of television on Tuesday for President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address. (Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

Fox News Channel was the most-watched network in all of television on Tuesday for President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address. (Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
(Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

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Biden’s speech marked the most consequential of his lifetime as U.S. inflation soars and Eastern Europe devolves into war between Russia and Ukraine. Many members of Congress attending the speech were wearing small lapel ribbons of blue and yellow to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine

During his speech, Biden announced that his administration is banning Russian planes from American airspace in retaliation for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, in addition to economic sanctions and other measures he has taken in recent days.

Aside from the international turmoil, Biden’s speech also focused on domestic issues as inflation reached a 40-year high and gasoline prices hit their highest level in eight years. 

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All television data courtesy of Nielsen Media Research. 

Fox News’ Kelly Laco and Marissa Shultz contributed to this report. 

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