CNN was the most-watched cable news network and NBC the most-watched broadcaster and top channel overall with coverage of the presidential inauguration on Monday, according to Nielsen fast national data.
During President Obama's oath and inaugural address from 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. (ET), CNN averaged 3.1 million total viewers and 1.1 million adults 25 to 54. MSNBC ranked second among the cablers with 2.3 million total viewers and 706,000 in the demo, with Fox News trailing with 1.3 million total viewers and 294,000 adults in the so-called news demo.
NBC's broadcast of the ceremonies from 10 a.m.-4:35 p.m. (ET) averaged 5.1 million total viewers and 1.7 million adults 25 to 54. ABC was second in that same time frame with 3.9 million total viewers and 1.3 million key adults, while CBS placed third, drawing 3.7 million total viewers and 1.1 million in the adults 25-54 demo.
Overall, viewership on the three cable news networks was way down from 2009, when approximately 17 million people watched Obama's historic swearing in on CNN, Fox News or MSNBC.
On Monday, CNN also won in primetime (3.6 million viewers/1.3 million adults 25 to54) and total day (1.9 million total viewers/657,000 adults 25-54). Fox News was second in total viewers (1.6 million in primetime, 1.1 million in total day), though MSNBC rated second with younger viewers (456,000 adults 25 to 54 in primetime, 354,000 in total day).