33.3 million people watched the broadcast of Obama's speech to Congress laying out his 2014 priorities on 13 networks, according to Nielsen. Just over one-fifth of American households, at 20.7 percent, tuned in to the address.
That was the lowest figure since former President Bill Clinton’s final address to Congress in 2000, which had 31,478,000 viewers.
Obama’s own ratings high came in 2009, when he delivered his address to a joint session of Congress during his first year in office — that speech was watched by 52,373,000 viewers.
President George W. Bush's least-watched State of the Union, delivered in 2008, had 37,515,000 viewers.
The White House ahead of the speech called on the public to watch the address online, through an interactive display that provided stats and additional talking points on Obama's policies. In addition, other networks live streamed the broadcast, but Nielsen's ratings do not count online viewers.
According to NielsenSocialGuide, 8.8 million people saw at least one of the approximately 2.1 million tweets sent in the United States about Obama’s State of the Union.