Trump's Inaugural TV Ratings Fall Short of Obama's in 2009

Obama's second inaugural in 2013 averaged 20.6 million viewers. Ronald Reagan had 41.8 million viewers in 1981.

Trump's audience total is higher than the first inaugurations for George W. Bush in 2001 (29 million), Bill Clinton in 1993 (29.7 million) and George H.W. Bush in 1989 (23.3 million). The largest share of these viewers (8.8 million) watched Fox News, and the majority (19.2 million) were over the age of 55.

There's a dispute over how many people showed up for Donald Trump's inauguration but today the President wanted to set the record straight about the TV ratings for the ceremony as well as hit Hollywood over the massively attended Women's Marches all across the nation yesterday.

Nielsen may also report a total audience number for USA cable and broadcast networks.

The number of attendees at the inaugural proceedings in Washington was also smaller than that of Obama's, judging by aerial photographs and other measurements (such as the use of public transportation).

Television views for the swearing-in ceremony of Donald Trump turned out to be 30.6 million viewers across 12 networks, marketing firm Nielsen estimated, a number that is less than former President Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009.

"It looked like a million and a half people" there on Friday, he said, blaming the media for releasing reports that there were as few as 250,000 people. In other words, he's supposed to be preparing for the highest office in the United States, and probably the world, and he's instead talking about ratings for a poxy TV show.

For a man like Trump who's obsessed with ratings and audience figures, this has got to sting a little bit.

  • Jon Douglas