Although the State Of The Union Address is usually about as interesting as watching paint dry, perhaps as many as 48 million viewers watch it each year. But, it does give some direction to the official agenda for the government since the country only has one president at a time, despite a divided Congress. But, almost every president plans to spend more money on education or worthy goals. There’s hardly any way to make the mundane very interesting. But, still the SOTU is always a major news event.
FOX reported the best cable ratings numbers this year for the SOTU with 4.96 million viewers, but that was down sharply from the 5.7 million from last year. Interestingly though, more viewers, 5.4 million to be exact, wanted to see the post-debate analysis which means that many viewers are either interested in seeing what the experts think, or else want others to tell them what they think, rather than forming their own opinions. Interesting?
CNN also reported slightly declined figures of 2.98 million viewers, compared to 3.3 million viewers last year. MSNBC actually had a slight increase in viewers from 2.4 million last year to 2.50 million this year, which might indicate slightly better ratings for the network in general rather than a real uptick in ratings for the SOTU address itself.
Maybe, next year they need to try something new to make the SOTU more interesting. They could add a halftime show where they roll out a stage and The Who or Bruce Springsteen perform three songs, then it goes back to the second half of a long speech that’s often not really at that interesting.