MSNBC did pretty well with its State of the Union telecast, drawing 2.5 million viewers, up 4% from last year’s address, and the only cable news network to increase its audience year-to-year. It was also on par with last year’s ratings for the analysis immediately following President Barack Obama’s speech. But then things went downhill. From 11 PM-12 AM, MSNBC averaged 1.1 million viewers, down 24% from last year. The difference? Last year, the network had Keith Olbermann anchoring the hour. (To be exact, Countdown with Keith Olbermann aired from 10:45-11:45PM last January.) So 3 days after Olbermann’s abrupt exit on Friday night, MSNBC brass may be missing him already.
Nielsen just released aggregated numbers for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address last night. The speech drew 42.8 million viewers across 11 networks on broadcast and cable. This is Obama’s least watched State of the Union address – down 11% from last year and 18% from his 2009 speech. But it was up 14% vs. George W. Bush’s final State of the Union address in 2008.