Update: The NFL Game averged 27.2 million on one network over ~3 hours. The Presidents address averaged 31.5 on 11 networks over less than an hour.
President Obama had requested to address a joint session of congress on jobs and the economy on Wednesday, September 7 at 8pm Eastern which, assuming an hour for the speech and analysis wouldn't have interrupted anything more popular on broadcast primetime television that night than , and Buried Treasure. But that timing would have conflicted with a scheduled GOP presidential debate in California, which caused congressional leaders to push back and ask the President to reschedule the speech.
Update: The White House has released a statement noting that the speech will be finished prior to 8:30pm which would keep the speech itself clear of the kickoff, but perhaps not the pre-game show.
The speech has now been rescheduled to September 8. Although I have not seen confirmation of the speech start time, the NFL season opening game between the Packers and Saints kicks off at about 8:45pm that night. The pre-game show begins at 8pm.
Here are the ratings for the Saints/Vikings NFL season opening game (9/9/10) last year (which featured ratings magnet Bret Favre):
NFL Opening Kick-Off Show (8pm, 30 minutes)
- 11.460 million viewers
- 7.4/14 HH
- 3.0/14 A18-49
NFL Pre-Kick (8:30pm, 12 minutes)
- 19.680 million viewers
- 12.0/21 HH
- 7.0/22 A18-49
NFL Thursday (8:42pm, 163 minutes)
- 27.485 million viewers
- 16.5/28 HH
- 10.7/30 A18-49
By comparison, the President's 20 minute address (8-8:20pm) on the end of the combat mission in Iraq (8/31/10) averaged 29.2 million viewers across eleven broadcast and cable networks.
That sets up a potentially interesting contest that night for TV viewership: President Obama vs. Aaron Rodgers & Drew Brees.
Who ya' got?