Nielsen: 33.3 million watched State of the Union

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AP Photo/Susan Walsh

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The audience of 33.3 million people for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address fell just short of last year’s, ranking as his least-watched.

Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address drew 33.5 million viewers.

Viewership was down sharply from Obama’s largest audience, the 52 million people who tuned in to see his first address in 2009.

According to the Nielsen Co., 13 networks carried the speech live. CBS was the most-watched broadcast network with an average 7.6 million viewers, followed by NBC with 7 million and ABC with 5.6 million.

On cable, Fox News Channel was the leader with 4.7 million viewers. MSNBC averaged 2.3 million, while CNN was in third place with 2.1 million.

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