The early ratings are in for the 2014 State of the Union: Fox News was first in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. MSNBC and CNN traded off for second place, with MSNBC finishing second in total viewers and CNN finishing second in the demo.
It was the lowest-rated State of the Union on CNN since 2005 and on MSNBC since 2008. Both CNN and MSNBC were down double digits compared to last year’s SOTU: CNN was down -43% in total viewers and -47% in the A25-54 demo and MSNBC was down -24% and -27%, respectively. CNN spent the hours leading up to last year’s address covering the Christopher Dorner manhunt in Los Angeles, which gave them a boost for the speech.
Fox News’ coverage, anchored by Bret Baier, was far out front in total viewers for the night, averaging more than 4 million viewers from 9-11pmET. FNC was up +28% in total viewers and +25% in A25-54 viewers compared to the 2013 address.
Fox News peaked from 9:45-10pmET with 4.8 million viewers. CNN peaked during the same 15 minutes with 2.1 million viewers and MSNBC peaked from 10:00-10:15pmET with 2.4 million viewers.
We’ll have more when the final ratings come in later today.
State of the Union address (9:14 – 10:20pmET)
Fox News: 4,718,853 viewers / 1,197,554 A25-54
MSNBC: 2,292,169 viewers / 752,054 A25-54
CNN: 2,081,431 viewers / 762,450 A25-54
State of the Union address and Republican response (9-11pmET)
Fox News: 4,513,177 total viewers / 1,106,175 A25-54
MSNBC: 2,167,242 total viewers / 703, 527 A25-54
CNN: 1,878,726 total viewers / 663,214 A25-54