Presidential Inuaguration Draws 20.6 Million Viewers

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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January 23rd, 2013

via press release:

Presidential Inauguration Draws 20.6 Million


January 23, 2013

Some 20.6 million people tuned in to watch President Obama’s second inauguration on television on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. While coverage varied by network, 18 networks aired live coverage from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. The first table below highlights the sum of the average audience for these networks.

While viewership was down 17.2 million people—or 46 percent—for Obama’s second inauguration, it did hold pace with the drop-off that George W. Bush’s second term inauguration experienced. In fact, viewership has historically slid for second term inaugurations. Pres. Richard Nixon is the only president in recent history that has seen an increase; he notched a 22 percent increase during his second term inauguration.


2013 Networks Included: The 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. viewing numbers includes programming provided by ABC, CBS, NBC, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO, AZTECA, MundoFox, PBS, Fox News Channel, CNN Headline News, Fox Business Network, MSNBC, TV One, CNN, Current TV, CNBC, CENTRIC and BET.

2009 Networks Included: The 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. viewing numbers includes programming provided by ABC, CBS, NBC, UNIVISION, BBCA, BET, CNN, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, and TVONE. Contributing to these viewing numbers are TELEMUNDO, CNBC, ESPN, CNN HEADLINE, MTV, MTV2, MTVTR3S who aired programming approximately between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. ET.

  • Hillbilly

    Glad i didn’t predict how many viewers there would be. I would of lost big time.

  • Joseph

    I thought that with this being a Holiday, the TV rating would have been bigger than this, although I didn’t expect it to draw as many viewers as President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.

    Two notes on President Reagan’s inaugurations:

    (1) The 1981 inauguration drew a record TV viewership for inaugurations, but that was because the hostages in Iran were being freed at the moment Mr. Reagan took office.

    (2) Like this year, the 1985 inauguration had a swearing-in on Sunday inside the White House, but the other events were to have been on Monday the 21st. But due to cold weather, I believe only the speech (which I think was delivered inside the White House) took place; the outdoor events being cancelled.

  • Ralph Hahn

    See who had the highest audience and household members? Ronald Reagan. As soon as he was Inaugurated, scared $hitless Iranians freed our hostages.

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