Deadline further outlined the breakdown across the major networks:
According to fast national numbers from Nielsen, ABC topped coverage with 4.03 million, followed by MSNBC with 3.94 million, NBC with 3.54 million, CBS with 3.37 million, CNN with 3.18 million, Fox News with 2.92 million and Fox with 1.63 million.
Poor ratings were somewhat expected, even by those on the Left. CNN media critic Brian Stelter, for example, did his best Tuesday to tamp down viewership expectations for Biden’s address, modestly predicting that somewhere around 30 million views would be “realistic” for POTUS, citing “TV ratings erosion.”
Biden, it seems, was 7.4 million shy of the lowball estimate from the left-wing critic.
Here’s what Stelter wrote Tuesday, emphasis added:
I’m the type of news consumer who’s home on the couch for every State of the Union. But it’s helpful to remember that I’m not the norm. (I’m guessing you are not the norm, either!) Trump’s State of the Union averaged 37 million viewers across 12 TV networks last year, which means most American adults heard the speech later, in bits and pieces, or didn’t hear about it at all. Technically Biden’s speech is an address to a joint session, since it’s his first year as president, so here are this century’s ratings comps: About 48 million viewers for Trump in 2017, 52 million for Barack Obama in 2009, and 40 million for George W. Bush in 2001. Recent TV ratings erosion might make 30 million a more realistic barometer for Biden’s address…
The president’s speech also fared poorly online.
Aside from generally low video views, left-leaning news stations and outlets that streamed the speech, like USAToday, NBC News, CBS News, CNBC News, and CNN all had “thumbs down” reactions outnumbering “thumbs up” reactions.
One of the only major news stations to have approving reactions outnumbering disapproving reactions was ABC News — which seems to track with TV ratings, too.
Here are some of the online lowlights for Biden, reported by The Daily Wire on Thursday morning:
USAToday’s stream of the speech as of Thursday morning amassed 36,872 views, only 584 approving reactions and 2,600 disapproving reactions.
NBC News’ video had 27,789 views by Thursday morning. The video also totaled more negative reactions than positive, 695 to 1,500, respectively.
CBS News fared better in views, totally 187,657 views by Thursday morning. But the station still amassed more negative reactions, 3,200, than positive reactions, 2,900.
The CNBC News video totaled 76,079 views by Thursday morning, with more than three times as many negative reactions than positive, 5,500 to 1,800.
CNN neared almost 200,000 views, but, again, was bested with negative reactions, 7,500 to 5,100.
The White House has two videos of the speech on their YouTube account. Both videos have the comment sections disabled, which is the norm for the Biden White House. The … reactions on both videos, too, have more negative reactions than positive.