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Biden speech draws more broadcast viewers than Trump’s first TV address

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Biden delivers an address to the nation about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from the White House in Washington

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s prime-time address on the fight against COVID-19 attracted more broadcast television viewers on Thursday than former President Donald Trump’s first speech to the nation, according to preliminary ratings data.

Roughly 18.2 million people watched Biden’s speech on U.S. broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, Hollywood publications Deadline and The Wrap reported on Friday. The speech was delivered just hours after Biden signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law, and came on his 50th day in office..

Trump’s first televised address to the country occurred in August 2017 — seven months after he took office — when he spoke about the war in Afghanistan. That event attracted 17.7 million viewers on the four broadcast networks.

Updated figures that include cable TV viewership were expected to be released later on Friday.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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