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Twice As Many Viewers Watched NFL Playoffs Than Obama’s ‘Farewell’ Address


By Richard Pollock

Twice as many people watched the NFL playoff games last weekend than tuned in to President Obama’s heavily promoted Jan. 10, 2017, “farewell” address to the nation.  By ratings standards, Obama’s speech was a dog.

TVbythenumbers.com reported that Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers game attracted 44 million viewers on Fox Sports. About 41 million viewers watched the Pittsburgh Steelers-Kansas City Chiefs playoffs on rival NBC later in the day.

Only 24 million viewers tuned in to Obama’s farewell address from his home town of Chicago. The audience should have been huge since it was broadcast live by all major television networks and was also seen on all cable news networks.

CBS “60 Minutes,” which last night also broadcast a final, lengthy interview with Obama only attracted 7 million viewers, according to TVbythenumbers.

NFL viewership has been sharply down this year following the seemingly irreversible trend of consumers “cutting the cord.” But the ratings for Sunday’s games were a near record.

The New York Times did not report Nielsen ratings for Obama’s farewell. Instead, the Times reported that Obama spoke to a “rapturous crowd” who assembled and interrupted his address with “thunderous  applause.”

In fact, Obama’s popularity with TV viewers has steadily declined in recent years. Obama’s final State-of-the-Union address in January 2016 attracted the lowest TV audience of any presidential address to the nation. Only 31 million people watched that speech.

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