How Many People Watched Donald Trump's Inauguration On TV

donald trump inauguration

Donald Trump's official inauguration happened last Friday, and the numbers are now in. A huge number of people watched the Presidential Inauguration; however, it wasn't the largest crowd to ever tune in on TV to see a President get inaugurated. According to reports, 30.6 million total viewers tuned in for Donald Trump's ceremony.

We'll talk about how giant football's ratings are for special game days that have brought in over 27 million total viewers. In comparison to America's most popular sport, Donald Trump's inauguration day ceremony did pretty well. Of course, football games usually air on one channel. Nielsen looked at the 12 networks that covered the inauguration between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and then took an average of the total viewers during that time. The networks Nielsen looked at included ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Galavision, HLN, and MSNBC.

While 30.6 million total viewers is a sizable crowd, back in 2008, President Obama's first inauguration actually brought in 37.7 million total viewers. Ronald Reagan's inauguration was also extremely popular, with 41.8 million total viewers tuning in. While Trump didn't beat either of those inaugurations, reports indicate his was the fifth most-watched inauguration to air on television, beating out George W. Bush in 2001 and Bill Clinton in 1993. President Obama's Farewell Address was watched by about 24 million total viewers earlier this month.

What's most fascinating about these numbers is how they spell out in terms of specific demographics. Per Variety, the smallest audience viewership for the Trump inauguration was the 18-34 demographic, which only saw 2.8 million viewers tune in. In the 35-54 demographic, 7.2 million people tuned in. In the 55+ demographic. 19.2 million viewers tuned in. Part of this discrepancy could have to do with the younger demographics featuring more working individuals, as the festivities measured happened between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET. It's also a measure of how people may have voted by age, a full breakdown of which can be found here.

In percentage of households tuning in, Donald Trump's inauguration was the ninth most-watched. Of course, these are TV ratings, so only a certain percentage of American inaugurations have been counted by Nielsen.

Prior to the inauguration celebration, Donald Trump had some trouble signing on major talent for the event. Plenty of names were bandied about before the big day, but Toby Keith, Three Doors Down and a few others ended up playing the event. Fireworks and Jon Voight were also a part of the celebration. You can learn more about the 2017 inauguration here.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.