On Wednesday night, America’s 46th President, Joe Biden made his first address to a joint session of Congress, but the television ratings and the participation of people in the event, through their TV sets while sitting at homes was quite worse than previous presidents.
Biden Fails To Attract A Live TV Audience
It was estimated that around 26.9 million people watched the speech across several broadcast networks on Wednesday and it was lower than that of President Barrack Obama’s first address to Congress in 2009 when Internet viewership was not a major factor and it is also lower than that of President Trump’s first address to Congress in 2017 which was estimated to be around 48 million viewers.
Their has been evident gradual erosion in live TV audiences over the past years and the pandemic has accelerated that for sure.
People are no longer interested in spending time watching live TV events and are seen to provide priority to on-demand programming and the various movies and shows on several OTT platforms.
The lower TV ratings for shows like the Emmys and Oscars are significant proof of the erosion as these shows used to be at the pinnacle of TV ratings a few years back, especially when the Internet wasn’t that famous or its features hadn’t been explored as such.
During Joe Biden’s address, ABC averaged 4 million views, NBC averaged 3.5 million views, CBS averaged 3.4 million views, MSNBC averaged 4 million views, CNN averaged 3.2 million views while Fox averaged 3 million views but for comparison and to understand the gravity of the situation, one can always refer to how many viewers watched Fox News during Trump’s 2017 address and it was well beyond 10 million viewers.
With the passage of time, Television platforms as well as Internet has progressed a lot, and it has been observed that people tend to be more attracted to the new things like several new Tv shows or the OTT shows as these have been developed as such with the purpose of getting the attention of the public to improve their ratings and thus sponsors as well as their sources of income.
The people have been seen to spend a lot of time on OTT platforms in recent times, and rightfully so, as they have got the attention of the people by providing a wide range of shows from all around the world, and things like Twitter and Instagram which are the new source of fame have seen that people have been talking more about these shows on these platforms rather than the live TV events.
Live TV hasn’t been able to attract viewers as they don’t have as much variation as people would have liked, it like if the same thing has been going on for several years now so as to maintain an expected class in these events which are of great importance and have been famous for a long time now.
President Biden’s address to the Congress is no exception to this, the event was covered as a very important live TV show and expected people to indulge in it in large numbers, but still, it failed to attract a very large audience as such, as people were busy with the on demand programming and OTT shows during that hour.
But, at the same time, the involvement of people or the reach of the speech has been accounted for by single TV ratings which are not seen to be accurate as such because an event like the presidential address is delivered all across the internet, radio as well as other formats which are separate from TV ratings.
Though, there is no doubt as such that Biden’s speech didn’t attract the people to the TV channels itself which can be seen by comparing it with the numbers that were generated during Trump’s speech in 2017.