31 million watch Obama jobs speech on TV

LOS ANGELES Fri Sep 9, 2011 7:13pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington September 8, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington September 8, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - More than 31 million Americans watched President Barack Obama deliver his agenda for creating jobs in a speech broadcast live on television, ratings data showed on Friday.

Obama's Thursday night address to a joint session of Congress drew a bigger audience than both his March speech on U.S. military involvement in Libya (25.6 million) and his August 2010 speech declaring the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq (29.2 million)

Nielsen ratings data showed that 31.4 million viewers watched Obama's address on jobs, which was carried live across 11 TV networks.

The TV audience, however, fell well short of the more than 56 million who watched the president announce the killing of Osama bin Laden in May.

Shortly after Obama closed his remarks, 27.2 million people watched the professional football's NFL kick off its season. Nielsen said the season opener between the Saints and the Packers on NBC was the second most-watched NFL regular season primetime game on any one network in 15 years.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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