Over 52 million tuned in President Barack Obama's first address to the joint session of Congress last night, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research.
Obama's address across 10 national TV networks -- CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Telemundo and Univision -- generated a collective 32.5 rating/49 share and was seen in nearly 37.2 million homes. Early estimates pegged the audience at some 52.4 million viewers on average.
That performance trailed the traditional first-term equivalent of the State of the Union address of Bill Clinton, but topped that of his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush.
According to Nielsen Media Research estimates, Clinton garnered a 44.3 rating and 66.9 million watchers on four networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, back on Feb. 17, 1993, according to Nielsen.
Bush's first speech on Feb. 27, 2001 produced a 27.6 rating and 39.8 million watchers on seven networks, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC.
Last year, the 43rd president's speech on Jan. 28 drew a 24.7 rating and 37.5 million watchers across nine networks.