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Nielsen: 33.5 million watch State of the Union

The Associated Press, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 4:14pm (PST)

NEW YORK (AP) — The 33.5 million people who saw President Barack Obama's fifth State of the Union made it the smallest audience for the annual speech since Bill Clinton's last address in 2000.

The Nielsen ratings company said Wednesday it was down from the 37.8 million people who saw Obama's State of the Union last year. The 52.4 million people who watched his first address in 2009 were his largest audience.

Sixteen networks aired the speech Tuesday night. The 6.5 million people who saw it on NBC just barely gave the network bragging rights over CBS, which had 6.4 million viewers. Nielsen says ABC had 5.5 million viewers for the speech. It says 3.7 million people saw Obama on Fox News Channel, 3.6 million on CNN and 3 million on MSNBC.

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