Biden’s 2021 inauguration ratings ‘trump’ 2017 figures

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

President Joe Biden’s inauguration TV ratings saw a 4% increase over Donald Trump’s 2017.

According to initial data released by Nielsen and obtained by Variety, 39.87 million people watched the proceedings on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC or Fox’s cable channel.

As with most “fast” ratings, these numbers are subject to adjustment as more data is integrated.

Trump’s ceremonies attracted 38.35 million when all the data was crunched.

This data focused specifically on viewership during the 30 minute ceremony itself — not any of the pre- or post-event coverage.

None of these ratings figures include streaming numbers for any of the numerous ways viewers could watch the events without a traditional TV connection, which are harder to calculate.

Of the major broadcast and cable networks, CNN lead the pack with 9.9 million viewers, up 196% over 2017’s 3.375 million.

This was an all time record for the inauguration coverage by the network.

ABC was on top among the “big three” with 7.66 million. NBC got 6.89 million, MSNBC shy of 6.53 million and CBS registered 6.07 million.

Fox’s cable channel, which was on top for the 2017 ceremony, was last this year with 2.74 million.

Back in 2017, Fox registered 11.76 million viewers — so 2021 data indicates a loss of about 77%. 2017 was also the most watched inauguration in Fox’s history.

When looking at data across the day, an estimated 29.45 million watched Biden coverage between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. eastern in their local time zones. That’s up 9% from 27.08 million for Trump in 2017.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the general public was not able to attend the ceremonies in person, which could have contributed at least somewhat to the spike in numbers.

There are also more people working from home, so it’s likely that more people could have taken some time to catch the proceedings on linear TV, which occur right around lunch time on the east coast.

Trump and his staff famously spent the early days of his administration touting “record” in person and TV ratings, claims which were later shown to be untrue.