NBC News and MSNBC Together Top All Other Networks for President Trump's Address to Congress
More Americans turned to NBC News and MSNBC combined for coverage of President Trump's address to a joint session of Congress than any other broadcast or cable television network. According to Nielsen Media Research data, the two networks averaged 11.6 million total viewers during primetime coverage of the speech, including an average of 3.9 million viewers in the key news demographic of A25-54.
NBC led the broadcast networks across the board during its primetime coverage from 9 p.m. to 10:09 p.m. ET. NBC averaged 9.1 million total viewers, outperforming ABC by +3.1 million (+51%) and CBS by +2 million (+28%). This was NBC's highest total viewer delivery for a Presidential address to Congress since 2009. Among A25-54 viewers, NBC News averaged 3.3 million viewers, its biggest demo delivery since the 2012 State of the Union, leading ABC by +1.2 million (+58%) and CBS by +1.4 million (+73%). In A18-49, NBC averaged 2.7 million, topping ABC by +1.1 million (+66%) and more than doubling CBS by +1.4 million (+105%).
During the post-speech analysis (10:09 p.m. to 10:19 p.m.), NBC continued its dominance, averaging 8.0 million total viewers and leading ABC by +2.1 million (+35%) and CBS by +1.4 million (+22%). Among A25-54 viewers, NBC averaged 2.9 million viewers, topping ABC by +909,000 (+45%) and CBS by +1.2 million (+69%). In A18-49, NBC averaged 2.3 million viewers, finished ahead of ABC by +712,000 (+44%) and CBS by +1.1 million (+94%).
Coverage on the NBC broadcast network was led by "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt live from Washington D.C., with "Meet the Press" moderator and NBC News political director Chuck Todd and NBC NEWS SPECIAL correspondent Tom Brokaw. "TODAY" co-host Savannah Guthrie and NBC News analyst Nicolle Wallace also contributed to the special coverage from New York City.
Led by Rachel Maddow, Brian Williams and Chris Matthews, MSNBC's post speech analysis (10:30p.m.- 12 a.m. ET), topped CNN (2.4 million total viewers vs. CNN's 2.3 million). Compared to President Obama's final STATE OF THE UNION in 2016 post-analysis, MSNBC was up +57% in total viewers and +57% in A25-54. A special, late-night edition of "Hardball with Chris Matthews" was #1 among total viewers at 12 a.m. ET - beating both CNN and FOX News. The special edition of "Hardball" was up +109% in total viewers over 2016 and the tally of 1.8 million viewers, to CNN's 858,000 and FNC's 1.6 million). The special "Hardball" was also up +26% in A25-54, beating CNN (398,000 to CNN's 359,000). MSNBC's late night coverage and analysis led by Ari Melber from 1 - 2 a.m. ET beat CNN among total viewers with 994,000 viewers (ahead of CNN's 680,000). The Presidential address to Congress (9 - 10:15 p.m. ET) was also up +5% in total viewers and up 10% in viewers A25-54 compared to President Obama's STATE OF THE UNION address in 2016.