Obama's speech on Osama bin Laden outdraws Royal Wedding, recent policy addresses


Image Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images

President Obama’s speech Sunday night announcing the death of Osama bin Laden drew twice as many viewers as last week’s Royal Wedding and outpaced his recent policy addresses.

Despite being hastily scheduled and a late hour on the East Coast, the President’s telecast was watched by 56.5 million viewers.

That’s more than Obama’s recent scheduled and promoted primetime addresses, such as March 28’s speech on Libya (25.6 million) and his August speech on Iraq (29.2 million), as well as more than doubling the audience of the supremely hyped, though early a.m., Royal Wedding (22.8 million). The networks carrying the address included ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNN, Fox News Channel, HLN and MSNBC.

Read more:
President Barack Obama to give ’60 Minutes’ first Osama bin Laden interview
CNN tops cable news network coverage of Osama bin Laden’s death
Primetime interrupted: Osama bin Laden dead
Osama bin Laden death sets Twitter record
Ratings: Millions watched Royal Wedding; ceremony draws more households than Charles and Diana

Comments (47 total) Add your comment
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  • zach

    this article is implying that two people who hold trivial titles with no significance to our country whatsoever had a wedding that was just as important as the death of america’s greatest enemy. awesome

    • Matt

      It’s actually a pointless comparison in many ways…completely unrelated topics, very different time of day. Might as well compare it to ratings for the Regis & Kelly.

      At least comparing it to previous presidential remarks make sense.

      • something is wrong

        what they should be writing about is why abc family should bring back “10 Things I Hate About You” while FOX can bring back Firefly

      • something is hilarious

        I am already tired of the news, and am getting sick over the fawning over the seal team six – yes what they did was great, but I can see it now – the lame made for tv movie, the books, the experts coming on tv providing a soundbite, the eventual movie – we have enough of the ‘special forces’ movies from the 80s, Hollywood will reboot one of them

      • Tom

        It interrupted primetime tv shows like Trump’s show.. of course people are going to watch.. they are waiting for their favorite tv show to come back on..

    • FR

      Or maybe they’re including it as a point of reference? But keep holding up that straw man if you’d like.

    • James Hibberd

      James here. It’s not to make a competitive point (since these are obviously not competing), but because the Wedding was the most recent similarly multi-network tens-of-million live event telecast. For some, it hopefully helps give a sense of what 56 million means among the ratings landscape (likewise, for my Royal Wedding ratings post, I noted the number matched the most recent American Idol telecast — again, the two programs have nothing to do with each other, but it helps add some context to a highly unusual event).

      • Dr. Linus

        Listen to James because he’s spot on.

      • Kat

        I love that you guys read the comments and try to answer questions sometimes. (Though in this case, I totally got that the wedding number was just there for reference…the article in no way seemed to imply that the wedding was comparable to bin Laden’s death.)

    • mrbilliam

      They were both news events (opposed to scripted shows, for example). Makes sense.

  • Juzt_Kobi

    Im not suprised at all…America as well as the whole World has been waiting anxiously for a day like this,so who wouldnt tune in to hear details of what has happened from the Horse’s Mouth?

  • LOL

    Fox News: Where the Truth Goes to Die ®

  • Stacey

    Given they were at different times of day, not relevant comparison. 6 a.m. is very early for that many to be watching television. Of course Obama’s annoucement was going to be play large given it was leaked by the time he spoke. A hour later than the scheduled time. So people were let in. And didn’t go to bed until he spoke.

    • SaraJeanQueen

      Agree! The wedding was on at 3am on the west coast, are you kidding me!? Who’s not home on a Sunday night… this is a ridiculous article.

      • BRETT

        Thank you. James is kidding himself if he thinks that comparison “provides context”.

      • bruno


      • Kat

        Dude…it’s JUST for the numbers comparison, it’s meant to help you understand just how many people watched. If you have an idea of how many people watched the wedding (sh*tloads), then double it and that’s about how many people watched Obama’s address. No one’s trying to suggest that they’re competing for ratings like in primetime programming or anything like that. It doesn’t matter what time they were on – it’s not that kind of comparison.

      • judah

        spot on, Kat. not sure why this is so hard for people to understand.

  • Lex

    All in all, It was nice to have a couple nice big things happen.

  • Liz Lemon

    Well it was a fantastic speech and a great moment for the world.

  • leah

    i think osama got what he deserved and to all of the others who hass also lossed some one in 9-11 i know how u feel and hopefully this bringd closer to u and your loved ones it does for me and to osama bin laden
    ROT IN HELL because what u did will back fire

  • Mindy

    Easily explained: This was important. The wedding wasn’t.
    Also, this was on at 8:30pm here instead of of 3am. So the whole west coast/mountain time zones could actually watch.

    • Alex

      The wedding was important for Brits and Anglophiles. But the Winner for this weekend was the USA Military, not two privileged people who have been living as man and wife for 9 years!

  • o i’m bored

    My direct TV dish was messed up and so i was out of TV for the whole weekend. I missed the Speech

    • Barry

      Lucky you!

  • Lisa

    The wedding might not have been important to Americans but don’t be so ignorant because it was important to some people. And plenty of Brits have sacrificed their lives for our “cause”.
    Plus, like we had a choice, they took over Primetime!

    • Mike

      I was thinking that too. Sure the ratings were high, but not like we could change the channel unless you want to watch another rerun of NCIS. Plus they made it sound very ominous and sinister. I just wished we didn’t have to wait 45-50 minutes while the news anchors were filling air time.

    • Alex

      Love to see the Anglophiles(Anti-Americans) out in full force on this article makes me so happy. Tired of the news about Osama Bin Laden vs. the Royal Wedding overkill, are you? His death means more than those two getting married, get over it and leave your citizenship at the door.

  • TC

    Come on the Wedding was beautiful I loved it, but when you hear the President is going to speak, no one knows why, but it is very important at 10:30 at night hell yes your going to watch, especially when the hosts of the news channels don’t know. We thought we were being hit again or worse. This was news I never ever thought but prayed for would come.

  • Callie

    This was a victory for the US and it’s allies because this man had killed so many people and this is much more important than the wedding which I got sick of hearing about for the past few weeks. So I am glad a lot of people tuned in.

  • Barry

    What more did you expect? Clown boy took over all of the TV networks so that he could use his teleprompter in prime time.

    • Monica

      Barry the bozo strikes again…

      • LOL

        Barry doesn’t realize that many presidents gave speeches via Teleprompter. He just knows what Hannity told him.

    • Ritu

      I just want to say I am newbie to bgnilgog and site-building and absolutely savored this web page. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your site . You absolutely have perfect writings. Thanks a bunch for revealing your web page.

  • Kurt

    Shut up, idiot.

  • redvector

    In six months nobody will care about this. People have the attention span of gnats. Besides if the mission had failed and all the Seals had been killed Obama’s fvck buddies in the media would have covered it up for him.

    • LOL

      Mental midget ^^^^

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