Donald Trump Inauguration Draws 30.6 Million

Almost 38 million people watched Obama take the oath of office in 2009.

According to Nielsen ratings, Trump's inauguration brought in 30.6 million viewers.

The preliminary data are based on programming from the seven networks that ran live inaugural coverage for much of the day, the Hollywood Reporter said.

Trump's swearing-in, which ranked fifth out of the 13 ceremonies in Nielsen's report, was roughly on par with the first inaugurations of Bill Clinton in 1993 (29.7 million viewers) and George W. Bush (29 million) in 2001. Ronald Reagan's first inauguration in 1981 holds the audience record at 41.8 million viewers.

Fox News - the network that 40% of Trump voters turned to first for election coverage in 2016, according to a recent survey - had the largest inauguration audience with 8.4 million viewers.

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Overall, Trump's numbers were good compared to other inaugurals.

First-term inaugurations typically draw more viewers, and Trump's ceremony surpassed Obama's 2013 oath of office, which saw an average of 20.6 million viewers.

It remains to be seen how Trump's future presidential moments will do in terms of ratings, but it seems likely he will continue to care.

He also wrote about television ratings for his inauguration Friday, bragging that they were higher than those from Obama's four years ago. Nielsen measured viewership on ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business Network, Fox New Channel, Galavision, HLN, and MSNBC. Earlier this month, he criticized Arnold Schwarzenegger's Apprentice ratings, tweeting that he was "swamped (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT".

  • Adam Floyd