39 Percent Fewer Watched Obama Healthcare Speech

Friday, 11 Sep 2009 01:29 PM

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Obama's congressional address Wednesday drew just 32 million viewers, an audience 39 percent smaller than for his first address to a joint session of Congress in February, which drew 52.4 million viewers.

The speech did pull in seven million more viewers than tuned in for his July 22 news conference, the last time he made a prime-time pitch for a healthcare overhaul, the Associated Press reports.

According to the Los Angeles Times, most people watched Obama's most recent speech on NBC, which averaged 8.16 million viewers for the hour, while ABC had 7.4 million and CBS had 5.63 million.

Fox was the only major network that didn't air the speech, choosing to go with the season premiere of the popular "So You Think You Can Dance." It was the third time this year Fox has taken a pass on a prime-time presidential appearance. Fox News Channel, the company's cable news network, aired the address.

Earlier this week, Obama remarked on Fox's slight but noted forgivingly that "So You Think You Can Dance" is "a show Michelle likes, by the way."

On Monday, Obama is to address the state of Wall Street, exactly one year after Lehman Brothers collapsed, precipitating the financial crisis felt around the world.

The White House said yesterday the president would speak on the financial crisis at midday at Federal Hall in New York. He is to talk about steps the administration has taken to mitigate the crisis.

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