President Joe Biden's address to Congress on Wednesday night attracted an estimated 22.6 million television viewers on the seven biggest U.S. broadcast and cable news networks, according to Nielsen ratings data released on Thursday.
The numbers indicate a fall in the TV audience compared to President Donald Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress in 2017, which attracted 48 million TV viewers on 11 networks.
The Biden ratings number reflects the TV audience on Walt Disney Co's ABC, Comcast Corp's NBC and MSNBC, ViacomCBS Inc's CBS and the Fox broadcast network and Fox News Channel, and AT&T Inc's CNN.
In the speech, Democrat Biden proposed a sweeping new $1.8 trillion "American Families Plan" and pleaded with Republican lawmakers to work with him on divisive issues.
Television audiences for live events have fallen sharply in the past year. (Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Howard Goller)
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