Joe Biden’s First Primetime Presidential Address Tops Trump’s in Broadcast Viewers

Tony Maglio and Jennifer Maas
·1-min read

Joe Biden gave his first primetime national address as president of the United States of America on Thursday, and ABC reaped the (preliminary) ratings benefits. According to Nielsen’s earliest data, Biden’s speech topped Trump’s August 2017 primetime address in terms of broadcast viewers. Biden drew 18.2 million total viewers across ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. Trump got 17.7 million across the Big 4 broadcast networks. It’s not exactly a perfect comparison, however, as Trump addressed Congress on Feb. 28 2017, which ultimately drew nearly 48 million total viewers, inclusive of cable news nets. (It wouldn’t exactly be fair to compare that State of the Union-esque address to Biden’s 30 minutes behind the podium on Thursday, however.) Plus, a speech roughly two months into a new presidency is not necessarily comparable with one six months in, and summer is not a great time for TV ratings. Finally, Trump addressed the nation on the war in Afghanistan. Biden spoke about the coronavirus pandemic, which directly impacts many more Americans than his White House predecessor’s topic did. Also Read: Biden Denounces 'Vicious Hate Crimes' Against Asian Americans Thursday’s Biden address paired with a shocking death on “Grey’s Anatomy” handed ABC first place in...

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