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 Big Brother, Minute to Win It 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?