Tuned Out: Obama Inauguration Saw Television Viewer Ratings Drop

January 23, 2013  |  

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Perhaps it wasn’t as much of an historic occasion this time around (although the re-election of our first black President is a very big deal). That could explain the viewing drop off for Monday’s inaugural events.

The 2013 Inauguration of President Obama pulled in fewer television viewers than in 2009, when he became the first African American to take the highest office in the United States. According to The Hollywood Reporter, cable news viewership dropped by roughly 10 million during the half-hour swearing in, with CNN topping MSNBC and Fox News Channel. Nielsen’s Fast National ratings for the Monday event were not surprisingly down.  Combined averages from CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel was just about seven million viewers.

For the special coverage, CNN averaged 3.14 million viewers during the swearing in, 1.11 million of them in the key 25-to-54 age demographic. During primetime, CNN averaged 3.57 million total viewers, with 1.27 million adults ages 25-to-54 watching.

Compare this to Obama’s 2009 inauguration ceremony, which averaged nearly 38 million viewers with cable and broadcast networks combined.

Did you watch this year?

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