TV Ratings: Biden’s Presidential Address Draws Nearly 20 Million Broadcast Viewers in Early Numbers

President Joe Biden’s first presidential address, delivered on the anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, was broadcast across the Big 4 (CBS, Fox, NBC and ABC) and on Univision at 8 p.m. ET last night. The speech, in which the President directed states to expand vaccine eligibility to all adults by May 1 and urged Americans to get the vaccine when it is available, drew a collective 19.5 million viewers throughout Thursday night primetime.

Of the five networks, ABC and CBS’s special telecasts garnered a 0.8 rating each in the key, adults ages 18-49 demographic, with the alphabet network, scoring slightly more viewers than CBS (6.24 versus 6.17 million, respectively). NBC and Fox also tied, with each obtaining a 0.5 rating in the key demo and 3.52 and 2.28 million viewers, respectively. Coming in last for the address broadcast numbers was Spanish-language network behemoth Univision, which drew a 0.4 rating and 1.34 million viewers. Telemundo, NBCUniversal and Comcast’s Spanish-language cable division, opted to forego airing the special and instead stuck with their regular daily weekly programming, running “Exatlón Estados Unidos” in the 8 p.m. window (0.3, 0.97). Similarly, The CW decided to run an encore episode of the Jared Padalecki-starring reboot of “Walker” at that hour, which got a 0.3 rating in the key demo and 1.38 million viewers.

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