LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - More than 56 million
Americans watched President Barack Obama's televised address on
the death of Osama bin Laden, according to ratings data
Despite the late hour Sunday -- shortly before midnight
on the U.S. East Coast -- and the brief notice given before the
address, Obama's speech drew more viewers than either of his
two State of the Union addresses.
Some 56.5 million Americans people tuned in to hear him
announce that U.S. forces had killed the al Qaeda leader in
Pakistan, almost 10 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on
New York and Washington, Nielsen said in a statement.
The figure was more than double the 25.6 million who
watched Obama's nationwide address in March justifying U.S.
military action against Libya.
His first State of the Union address, in January 2010,
pulled in 48 million viewers; that number fell 11 percent to
42.8 million this year. By comparison, "American Idol" -- the
most highly rated entertainment show on U.S. television --
currently attracts about 25 million viewers per episode.
Obama's announcement, carried live on nine U.S. television
networks, sent thousands of rejoicing Americans out onto
streets outside the White House, at the site of the fallen
World Trade Center in New York, and into Times Square.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Dean Goodman and Eric
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