NBC News Ranks #1 Across the Board on Broadcast, Averaging 9 Million Total Viewers 

MSNBC’s Post Speech Analysis Tops CNN in Total Viewers

NEW YORK (March 1, 2017) – More Americans turned to NBC News and MSNBC combined for coverage of President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress than any other broadcast or cable television network. According to Nielsen Media Research data, the two networks averaged 11.6 million total viewers during primetime coverage of the speech, including an average of 3.9 million viewers in the key news demographic of A25-54.

NBC led the broadcast networks across the board during its primetime coverage from 9 p.m. to 10:09 p.m. ET. NBC averaged 9.1 million total viewers, outperforming ABC by +3.1 million (+51%) and CBS by +2 million (+28%).  This was NBC’s highest total viewer delivery for a Presidential address to Congress since 2009.  Among A25-54 viewers, NBC News averaged 3.3 million viewers, its biggest demo delivery since the 2012 State of the Union, leading ABC by +1.2 million (+58%) and CBS by +1.4 million (+73%). In A18-49, NBC averaged 2.7 million, topping ABC by +1.1 million (+66%) and more than doubling CBS by +1.4 million (+105%).

During the post-speech analysis (10:09 p.m. to 10:19 p.m.), NBC continued its dominance, averaging 8.0 million total viewers and leading ABC by +2.1 million (+35%) and CBS by +1.4 million (+22%).  Among A25-54 viewers, NBC averaged 2.9 million viewers, topping ABC by +909,000 (+45%) and CBS by +1.2 million (+69%).  In A18-49, NBC averaged 2.3 million viewers, finished ahead of ABC by +712,000 (+44%) and CBS by +1.1 million (+94%).

Coverage on the NBC broadcast network was led by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt live from Washington D.C., with “Meet the Press” moderator and NBC News political director Chuck Todd and NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw. “TODAY” co-host Savannah Guthrie and NBC News analyst Nicolle Wallace also contributed to the special coverage from New York City.

Led by Rachel Maddow, Brian Williams and Chris Matthews, MSNBC’s post speech analysis (10:30p.m.- 12 a.m. ET), topped CNN (2.4 million total viewers vs. CNN’s 2.3 million). Compared to President Obama’s final State of the Union in 2016 post-analysis, MSNBC was up +57% in total viewers and +57% in A25-54.  A special, late-night edition of “Hardball with Chris Matthews” was #1 among total viewers at 12 a.m. ET – beating both CNN and Fox News. The special edition of “Hardball” was up +109% in total viewers over 2016 and the tally of 1.8 million viewers, to CNN’s 858,000 and FNC’s 1.6 million).  The special “Hardball” was also up +26% in A25-54, beating CNN (398,000 to CNN’s 359,000).  MSNBC’s late night coverage and analysis led by Ari Melber from 1 – 2 a.m. ET beat CNN among total viewers with 994,000 viewers (ahead of CNN’s 680,000). The Presidential address to Congress (9 – 10:15 p.m. ET) was also up +5% in total viewers and up 10% in viewers A25-54 compared to President Obama’s State of the Union address in 2016.

Rachel Maddow, Brian Williams, and Chris Matthews led MSNBC’s prime time coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET, anchored from MSNBC World Headquarters in New York. Nicolle Wallace, Steve Schmidt and Eugene Robinson also joined the panel. NBC and MSNBC both broadcast the Democratic Party response immediately following President Trump’s address.

NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, NBC News White House correspondents Kristen Welker and Hallie Jackson, NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander, as well as NBC News Capitol Hill correspondents Kasie Hunt and Kelly O’Donnell all contributed reporting on both NBC and MSNBC.

Compared to the 2013 presidential address to Congress, NBC was up +41% in total viewers and +22% in the demo.

NBC News Digital generated more than 13 million video views across all platforms for last night’s presidential address to Congress. You can watch NBC News’ Facebook Live coverage here.

NBC News was the most watched news organization of Election 2016. More Americans turned to NBC News and MSNBC combined for coverage of the presidential inauguration, Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention, presidential and vice presidential debates, and Election Night. Among broadcast networks, NBC News swept Election 2016 primetime coverage in the news demo (note: NBC did not air the second presidential debate).

FEBRUARY 28, 2017:

9 p.m. ET – 10:19 p.m. ET

Total Viewers     A25-54 Rating     A25-54 Viewers     A18-49 Rating     A18-49 Viewers    
NBC     9.005 2.69 3.242 2.08 2.675
CBS 7.156 1.56 1.876 1.03 1.315
ABC 6.065 1.72 2.067 1.28 1.642

9 p.m. ET – 10:15 p.m. ET

Total Viewers     A25-54 Rating     A25-54 Viewers     A18-49 Rating     A18-49 Viewers    
MSNBC    2.641 0.66 662 0.49 516
CNN 3.849 1.45 1.486 1.19 1.290
FNC 10.437 2.66 2.669 1.97 2.085

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For more information contact:

Jake Urbanski
NBC News
o: (212) 664-3211
c: (646) 823-2133
e: jake.urbanski@nbcuni.com


More Americans watch NBC News and MSNBC than any news organization in the world. NBC News is a global leader in news across all broadcast and digital platforms. Its leading and award-winning television news broadcasts include NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, TODAY, Meet the Press, and Dateline, as well as primetime specials and breaking news reports. For the 2015-2016 season, all four NBC News broadcasts were #1 in the key news demo. MSNBC is the premier cable destination for breaking and live news coverage, in-depth analysis, and influential voices – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The rapidly-growing NBC News Digital Group, along with the SiriusXM TODAY Show and MSNBC radio channels and NBC News Radio on the iHeartMedia 24/7 News Network, provide continuous content to consumers wherever they are, whenever they want it.

NBC News is part of the NBCUniversal News Group, a division of NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast Corporation.  For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit www.NBCUniversal.com.

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