Ratings For Second Inaugural Plunge
eporters from virtually all the networks covering Monday's inauguration ceremonies observed that the crowds were down considerably from President Obama's first inauguration four years ago. So too, it turns out, were the number of television viewers. While 17 million watched the swearing-in ceremony in 2009 on the three major cable news networks -- CNN, Fox News and MSNBC -- that number fell to just 6.7 million on Monday. CNN averaged the most viewers with 3.1 million, followed by MSNBC with 2.3 million. Fox News, the usual leader among the cable news networks in primetime, attracted just 1.3 million viewers. (The network, which attracts a predominantly conservative Republican audience, drew more than 3 million viewers for its coverage of President George W. Bush's second inauguration in 2005.) Among the broadcast networks, NBC took a wide lead with 5.1 million viewers, far outdistancing second-place ABC with 3.9 million and CBS with 3.7 million.