Barack Obama's 2nd inauguration watched by 20 million viewers on TV

Barack Obama

A little over 20 million people watched President Obama's second inauguration on television, according to reports on Wednesday afternoon.

Ratings agency Nielsen counted up the viewers across 18 different networks. It said that 20.552 million people watched coverage airing from 10 AM to 4:30 PM on Monday. (CNN was the top-rated cable news network, and NBC the top-rated broadcast network), the Huffington Post reported.

The numbers were a steep drop from Obama's first inauguration, which drew 37 million viewers, and was the second-lowest rating for an inauguration since 1969, as the New York Times' Bill Carter noted.

Obama did manage to easily beat George W. Bush, his immediate predecessor, who drew just 15.5 million viewers for his second inauguration.

He was well behind the highest-rated second inaugural -- Richard Nixon's in 1973. That speech was watched by over 32 million.

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