NBC News is #1 in A18-49 

MSNBC Tops CNN in Total Viewers with Over 3.4 Million Viewers, Its Biggest Advantage Ever Over CNN for SOTU Coverage

NBC News NOW Achieves Its Third Best Primetime Audience on Record; Best SOTU Night on Record on FAST Platforms

February 8, 2023 – NBCU News Group is the #1 most-watched news organization across the board for last night’s 2023 State of the Union Address (9-11 p.m. ET), averaging 7.1 million total viewers1.5 million A25-54 viewers and 1.2 million 18-49 viewers across NBC, MSNBC & CNBC, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. 

NBC News ranks #1 in A18-49 with 765,000 viewers in the younger demo during primetime coverage, led by NBC Nightly News anchor Lester HoltTODAY co-anchor and chief legal correspondent Savannah GuthrieMeet the Press moderator and NBC News political director Chuck Todd, NBC News chief White House correspondent Kristen Welker, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent and chief Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell, and NBC News senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson. The network also averaged 3.683 million total viewers and 978,000 A25-54 viewers

MSNBC topped CNN in total viewers – the first time for a State of the Union address since 2019 – averaging 3.4 million viewers vs. CNN’s 2.2 million viewers (9pm-11pm), marking its largest advantage over CNN in total viewers ever for a State of the Union address. The special primetime coverage was anchored by MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid and Nicolle Wallace.

MSNBC also had its highest-rated night since the 2022 midterm elections and grew +72% in total viewers vs. President Obama’s post-midterms 2015 State of the Union Address. Additionally, the network saw the smallest decline in viewers (-12%) compared to last year’s State of the Union audience, whereas CNN was down -49% and Fox News was down -34%.

NBC News NOW marked its third best primetime audience on record for State of the Union 2023, as well as its best primetime audience of the year. Tuesday night was also NBC News NOW’s best State of the Union on record across FAST platforms. NBC News NOW anchors Tom Llamas and Hallie Jackson began streaming coverage at 8 p.m. ET, before leading into a simulcast of the network’s primetime coverage at 9 p.m. ET, followed by special coverage and analysis from Meet the Pressmoderator Chuck Todd and NBC News chief White House correspondent Kristen Welker beginning at 11 p.m. ET. NBC News NOW viewership was up over +209% versus the average in primetime. 

MSNBC Digital marked its strongest State of the Union on record with most viewed live stream and live blog. Across Peacock, YouTube and TVE, video starts were up +47% versus 2022. SOTU 2023 was MSNBC’s third strongest day on record on Peacock. MSNBC Digital also saw growth of +24% across its live blog coverage.

On emerging platforms, NBCU News Group was #1 on YouTube for State of the Union 2023 with more live viewers than any other news brand.


Note: In-home viewership only; includes cable news viewership from 9:00-10:15 p.m. (approximate times of the speech); includes broadcast viewership for the speech itself.


For more information, contact:

Dominique Donahue
NBC News

Claudia Meyer-Samargia

Liza Pluto

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