- Early Nielsen numbers show that Biden’s inauguration got better TV ratings than Trump’s.
- Biden’s ceremony had almost 40 million viewers – about 4% more than his predecessor.
- MSNBC and CNN quadrupled and tripled their ratings, respectively, while Fox News’ fell.
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President Joe Biden’s inauguration secured over 1 million more viewers than former President Donald Trump’s did, according to early numbers from Nielsen.
Biden’s ceremony drew 39.87 million people across the major networks and cable channels, about a 4% increase from what Trump got in 2017, according to Nielsen.
Here’s how the inauguration ratings sorted out among the biggest channels:
- CNN cleaned up with 9.9 million viewers on average, more than any other outlet
- ABC averaged 7.66 million
- NBC News averaged 6.89 million
- MSNBC ‘s average rounded up to 6.53 million
- CBS News came in at 6.07 million viewers on average
- Fox News came in last with just 2.74 million
Both MSNBC and CNN got significant boosts compared to 2017, according to The New York Times. Their ratings quadrupled and tripled, respectively, according to Times media reporter Michael Grynbaum.
MSNBC's Biden audience more than quadrupled from Trump in 2017. CNN tripled.
— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) January 21, 2021
Fox News, meanwhile, saw its viewership fall by 77%, according to Variety.
The drop is from a record-setting 10.5 million viewers from Fox News’s 2017 inauguration coverage. MSNBC and CNN drew an average of only 1.38 million and 2.61 million that year, respectively.
This next-day batch of ratings from Nielsen is more limited in scope than what the final ratings will be pegged at. Nielsen lists these numbers as preliminary, as more sources will be accounted for in their count on Monday.
Nielsen did not return Insider’s request for additional data.
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