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January 23, 2013
Dennis Wharton
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Americans Turn to Broadcast Networks Over Cable News For Inauguration Coverage

WASHINGTON, D.C. Almost twice as many Americans tuned into broadcast television networks than cable news networks for coverage of President Barack Obama's second inauguration on January 21, according to recently released Nielsen data.

Nielsen ratings data show an average of 5.1 million viewers watched NBC's telecast of the inauguration from 10 a.m.-4:35 p.m., 3.9 million viewers tuned into ABC during the ceremony, and CBS's broadcast drew 3.7 million viewers. Meanwhile, during President Obama's oath of office and inaugural address, an average of 3.1 million viewers were tuned into CNN, 2.3 million viewers were watching MSNBC, and Fox News attracted 1.3 million viewers.

"Once again, when Americans wanted to watch history in the making, they turned to broadcast television," said National Association of Broadcasters Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton. "Broadcasters take seriously our role as a leading source of information. The ratings from the inauguration are proof that Americans trust broadcasters to provide the news they need and want."

The inauguration ratings are part of a long history of Americans tuning into broadcast television over cable news during important news events. Most recently, viewers watched the 2012 presidential and vice presidential debates on a broadcast network than a cable news network by almost a 2-to-1 margin.

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