SOTU Ratings: Fox News Leads Weakened Cable Coverage

Fox News Channel led the cable news sector on coverage of Tuesday’s State of the Union address from President Obama as viewership continued its downward trend, according to preliminary Nielsen data.

Fox News averaged 3.47 million viewers during the 9-10:15 p.m. (ET) speech, down 26% from last year; the network also dipped 29% among the adults 25-54 news demo to 834,168 of those watchers, falling behind CNN. Turner Broadcasting System's service was the only cable news network to see an increase from last year’s coverage, rising 36% to lead the news demo with 1.02 million; the network was also up 23% in total viewers with 2.56 million.

MSNBC suffered drops of 13% among total viewers to 1.99 million and 38% to 472,000 adults 25 to 54.

Collectively, the State of Union averaged 31.7 million viewers, down 5% 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.

Nielsen won’t release full viewership data until Thursday, which will include the broadcast networks. Last year’s speech was seen by 33.3 million viewers, the lowest since 2000.

Read more at B&Chere.