Biden speech draws 38.2 million US TV viewers

In Tuesday's roughly hour-long address, Biden, a Democrat, assailed Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine and detailed his domestic agenda.

 US President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, US, March 1, 2022 (photo credit: VIA REUTERS)
US President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, US, March 1, 2022
(photo credit: VIA REUTERS)

An estimated 38.2 million people watched live US television coverage of President Joe Biden's Tuesday night State of the Union speech, according to ratings data from Nielsen, a 42% jump from his 2021 address to Congress.

The figure includes viewership of English- and Spanish-language coverage on 16 broadcast and cable networks. Biden's first address to Congress in April 2021 attracted an estimated 26.9 million viewers across 16 channels.

In Tuesday's roughly hour-long address, Biden, a Democrat, assailed Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine and detailed his domestic agenda.

Fox News topped all networks with an audience of 7.2 million, followed by ABC with 6.3 million.

 US PRESIDENT Joe Biden holds a news conference in the East Room of the White House, on Wednesday. (credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS) US PRESIDENT Joe Biden holds a news conference in the East Room of the White House, on Wednesday. (credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

Biden's audience came in below the total for former President Donald Trump's first State of the Union speech in 2018, which attracted close to 46 million people.

Television audiences for live events have fallen sharply as audiences have gravitated to on-demand streaming services.