Tags: obama | inaugural | reagan

Reagan Beats Obama in Inaugural Ratings, Nielsen Says

Friday, 23 Jan 2009 11:00 AM

By Rick Pedraza

Although the number of viewers watching the presidential inauguration coverage of Barack Obama was impressive, the total fell short of those who watched the festivities for Ronald Reagan's first term in 1981.

Nielsen Media Research reports that 37.8 million television viewers tuned in Tuesday for overall coverage, which was the largest inaugural audience in 28 years. Reagan's first inauguration in 1981 drew a whopping 41.8 million.

Obama's viewership was, however, 27 percent higher than Bill Clinton's in 1993, and 30 percent higher than George W. Bush's in 2001. Bush’s swearing-in for his second term in 2005 was the lowest viewing audience (15.5 million) for a presidential inauguration.

In addition, the audience spiked at 46.8 million between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, which encompassed the actual swearing-in ceremony and Obama's inauguration speech. During that time, NBC beat all competitors with 11.5 million viewers, followed by ABC (11 million) and CBS (7.2 million). CNN topped the cable networks, as well as CBS, with 8.5 million viewers, followed by Fox News Channel (5.5 million), and MSNBC (3.1 million).

However, the ratings do not include the huge online viewing audience, with CNN.com, FoxNews.com, and MSNBC.com all reporting record-breaking streaming video traffic. Google reports that searches were down during the event.

Obama's figures include telecasts on 17 broadcast and cable networks, while Reagan’s swearing-in ceremony nearly three decades ago could be seen on only ABC, CBS and NBC.

Among U.S. cities, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., had the largest TV audience (51 percent), while host city Washington, D.C., came in second (48 percent). Seattle-Tacoma had the lowest television rating at 18.8 percent, and the West Coast, in general, had the lowest numbers, possibly because the ceremony there was there televised at 9 a.m.

Overseas numbers show Germany with 11 million viewers, followed by France (7 million) and Great Britain (5.1 million).

Presidential Inauguration Ratings (from highest to lowest):

1981 – Ronald Reagan – 41.8 million

1977 – Jimmy Carter – 34.1 million

1973 – Richard Nixon – 33.0 million

1993 – Bill Clinton – 29.7 million

2001 – George W. Bush – 29.0 million

1985 – Ronald Reagan – 25.1 million

1989 – George Bush – 23.3 million

1997 – Bill Clinton – 21.6 million

2005 – George W. Bush – 15.5 million

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Mali's Islamists Withdraw Cease-Fire Pledge

Friday, 04 Jan 2013 13:06 PM

Tens of thousands of Fatah supporters rallied in the Hamas stronghold of Gaza on Friday for the first time since they we . . .

Fmr. CIA Director Hayden: Iran Nuclear Crisis Gets 'Scarier'

Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012 18:11 PM

 . . .

Join Fmr. CIA Director for Special Iran Briefing, Assess the Danger

Friday, 13 Jul 2012 12:27 PM

 . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved