President Joe Biden‘s Oval Office address Thursday evening drew a sizable audience.
Across six broadcast networks and the three biggest cable news channels, the address — in which the president laid out the case for continued aid to Israel and Ukraine — averaged a little over 22 million viewers (22.12 million). Broadcast networks pushed their regular primetime schedules back by about 20 minutes to air the address.
ABC drew the largest share of the the total audience with 4.65 million viewers, followed by fellow broadcasters NBC (3.57 million) and CBS (3.46 million). Fox News led cable with 3.35 million viewers in preliminary ratings, followed by MSNBC (2.11 million), the Fox broadcast network (1.45 million) and CNN (1.4 million). Univision drew 1.27 million viewers for the address and Telemundo, 858,000.
In the address, Biden laid out the framework for a foreign aid proposal to Israel and Ukraine that he will send to Congress. “I know the conflicts can seem far away and it’s natural to ask: Why does this matter to America? So let me share with you why making sure Israel and Ukraine succeed is vital for America’s national security,” he said. “You know, history has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction.”
Elsewhere Thursday, Amazon’s Thursday Night Football had the biggest single-outlet audience of the night with 9.79 million viewers, according to Nielsen. TBS and TruTV had 4.07 million viewers for game three of baseball’s National League Championship Series, while FS1 and Fox Deportes drew 3.86 million for game four of the American League series.
Oct. 20, 2 p.m. Updated with final ratings figures for Fox News, MSNBC and CNN.