SOTU Ratings: Fox News Leads Cable In Both Viewers and Demo

Fox News was the clear leader among the cable news networks for Tuesday night's State of the Union address, according to Nielsen.

FNC averaged 4.72 million viewers for President Obama's speech from 9:14-10:20 p.m. ET. That was followed by MSNBC with 2.29 million and CNN in third with 2.08 million.

In the adults 25-54 news demo, FNC led as well with 1.19 million viewers, but CNN edged out MSNBC for second with 762,000. MSNBC averaged 752,000 in the demo.

Compared to the 2013 State of the Union, FNC rose 28% in total viewers and 24% in the demo. CNN tumbled 47% in both measures from last year and MSNBC dipped 24% and 27%, respectively.

Last year saw the cable networks splitting coverage between the SOTU and the standoff with murder suspect Christopher Dorner.

Overall, the State of Union averaged 33.3 million viewers (slightly down from last year's 33.5 million) across 13 networks—CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, Azteca, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Al Jazeera America, Galavision and Mun2. Univision aired the speech on a tape delay.

CBS led all broadcast networks in total viewers of the speech with 7.58 million. NBC was second with 6.98 million, followed by ABC with 5.57 million and Fox with 2.59 million.

For the post-speech analysis from 10:20 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET, NBC led with 6.70 million total viewers, followed by CBS (6.56 million) and ABC (5.57 million).

(Dan Holloway contributed to this story.)