Unfortunately for President Obama (and the TV networks that carried his State of the Union address), all his oratory skill could stop more than as quarter of viewers from tuning out right away, opting mainly for (sigh) sitcom reruns and college basketball. Kantar Media tracked which stations 100,000 American TVs were tuned into during Tuesday night's speech, and found that 27 percent of the audience left coverage of the speech within the first five minutes. As it was, this year's State of the Union was Obama's lowest rated one ever.
What did these viewer turn to instead? The three most switched-to stations were TBS, USA, and ESPN, according to TV Newser. After scanning each network's programing Tuesday night, we see that a rerun of The Big Bang Theory, a rerun of Law & Order: SVU, and Kentucky vs. Georgia basketball were the three most popular alternatives to the speech. We'll let others lament what this means for the democratic process, but Kantar Media was refreshingly optimistic. "All the interest in politics is focused on the Republican fight,” the organization's Elizabeth Wilner told The New York Times. “Still, retaining 72 percent at the top should be encouraging for the White House given all that.”
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.