About 27.3 million people watched Biden address, down from last year

FILE PHOTO: State of the Union address

By Helen Coster and Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) -An estimated 27.3 million people watched U.S. President Joe Biden’s Tuesday night State of the Union speech, according to Nielsen ratings data from 16 television networks.

Biden’s audience fell 29% from his State of the Union address last year, which brought in 38.2 million television viewers, Nielsen said.

The figures included people who watched on the biggest U.S. broadcast and cable networks, including ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and NBC.

In Tuesday’s 73-minute-long address, Biden, a Democrat, challenged Republicans to lift the U.S. debt ceiling and support tax policies that were friendlier to middle-class Americans.

Related News:   Russia-Ukraine war: US general says drone crash part of Moscow's increasing aggression

Nielsen said 59% of viewers watched on broadcast networks, and 73% of the audience was age 55 and older.

Television audiences for live events have fallen sharply as audiences have gravitated to on-demand streaming services.

The TV ratings data do not capture all the viewership on streaming services or social media.

(Reporting by Helen Coster and Lisa Richwine;Editing by Chris Reese, Josie Kao and Leslie Adler)