State of the Union draws smallest audience in 14 years

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Image Credit: Larry Downing/Pool via Bloomberg

President Obama’s State of the Union Address drew the fewest viewers of his presidency Tuesday night. In fact, the annual live prime-time speech was the least-watched SOTU by any president since Bill Clinton’s final address in 2000.

Obama’s speech to the nation was seen by 33.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Networks that carried the address included CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, Azteca, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Al Jazeera America, Galavision and Mun2.

During the speech, the president pledged to boost the minimum wage, tackle immigration reform and improve job growth.

Here’s news analysis of the speech contents, and here’s EW’s Annie Barrett having fun with some of the visuals from the feed (veep Joe Biden’s facial expressions among them).

Among the cable news networks, Fox News came out on top with 4.7 million viewers, MSNBC had 752,000 and CNN had 762,000. Fox News pointed out they were the only cable news network to post viewership gain from last year’s address, up 28 percent.

In terms of social media impact, Nielsen says 2.1 million tweets were sent in the U.S. about “State of The Union 2014.” Twitter activity about the airing spiked at 9:47 p.m., with 32,918 tweets sent following the president’s reference to “equal pay.”

By the numbers, previous State of the Union Addresses:

2013 33.5 million (Obama)
2012 37.8 million (Obama)
2011 42.8 million (Obama)
2010 48 million (Obama)
2009 52.4 million (Obama)
2008 37.5 million (Bush)
2007 45.5 million (Bush)
2006 41.7 million (Bush)
2005 38.4 million (Bush)
2004 43.4 million (Bush)
2003 62.1 million (Bush)
2002 51.8 million (Bush)
2001 39.8 million (Bush)
2000 31.5 million (Clinton)

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