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Biden's speech on Israel and Ukraine draws 20.3 million viewers -Nielsen

Published 10/20/2023, 05:35 PM
Updated 10/20/2023, 06:21 PM
© Reuters. U.S.  President Joe Biden delivers a prime-time address to the nation about his approaches to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, humanitarian assistance in Gaza and continued support for Ukraine in their war with Russia, from the Oval Office of the Wh

By Dawn Chmielewski and Danielle Broadway

(Reuters) - An estimated 20.3 million people watched U.S. President Joe Biden's Thursday night prime-time speech advocating wartime aid to support Israel and Ukraine, according to research firm Nielsen.

That is a bigger audience than Biden attracted in June, when he made a prime-time Oval Office speech to trumpet a bipartisan deal to end the debt limit crisis. That drew just 6.2 million viewers and was only picked up by two of the major U.S. broadcast networks, according to Nielsen.

Thursday's viewership numbers were tallied across 10 U.S. broadcast and cable networks, including ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and NBC.

Two-thirds of viewers watched Biden's 15-minute speech on broadcast networks, with 35% tuned in to a cable network. More than three-quarters of the TV audience was over the age of 55, according to Nielsen.

Fox News attracted the largest cable audience, with nearly 3.4 million viewers, surpassing rivals MSNBC, with an audience of 2.1 million viewers, and CNN with 1.4 million, according to Nielsen.

Biden sought to link Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip who attacked Israel to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022, and framed the conflicts as a threat to democracy.

© Reuters. U.S.  President Joe Biden delivers a prime-time address to the nation about his approaches to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, humanitarian assistance in Gaza and continued support for Ukraine in their war with Russia, from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S. October 19, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool/ File Photo

"American leadership is what holds the world together. American alliances are what keep us, America, safe," said Biden.

Biden will ask Congress for $100 billion in new spending, including $60 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel, a source familiar with his plan told Reuters.

Latest comments

Anybody who watched that should be scared to death for America's future and very survival. Except America's foes who are salvating at their opportunities.
Dont think we heard the same speech. Yours must have been the Trump speak on newsmax or fox not bidens which most of the free world found great.
Now thats a world leader talking….not this whining guy who blames everybody for his problem except himself
blah,blah blah same old far right propaganda about the debt which was mostly created by Republican administrations robbing the Treasury through tax cuts to the rich and the corporations, through posts by Yankee Steve.
and how this is going to effect to nasdaq?
Same old same old … blah blah blah more money taken from tax payers and more debts for future generations to bear
nice try troll
$106 billion in newly printed money should add nicely to our inflation problems.
Since I've given up TV watching, I'll just have to read the comments section here to find out if he said anything important.
($33,000,000,000,000) on the way for USA. :(
sub yeah, that's how you ended up in your rightwing alternative reality bubble...
20.3M viewers who couldn't understand a word by this bummbling stumbling vegetable with a lobotomy and no soul.
someone speaking slowly and clearly doesn't do it for you, eh..? projecting onto others being a lobotomised vegetable urself methinks..
I refuse to give an additional 45 of my future money to isreal to slaughter the Palestinians.. I already involuntarily been giving isreal $10 yearly out of my future taxations... when can we vote, not to? can we in our nazi democracy
giving billions in aid to wealthy isreal every year is absurd indeed..
sadly, no US politician can even start a career without the support of the z(ionist-lobby, as the candidate will be branded an 'anti-s(emite' from day one, simply for not wanting to give them money...
interestingly.. when I try to type the correct spelling of isreal in this context, my comment gets refused.. and no, I am not an anti-s(emite). I just believe in common sense and that every human is born equal
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