LOS ANGELES Jan 23 Some 20.6 million Americans
watched President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony and
related events on television, according to ratings data on
Wednesday. That's down sharply from his first inauguration in
TV ratings company Nielsen said 18 U.S. television networks
and cable channels carried live coverage over about six hours of
Monday's swearing-in ceremony, speech and parade in Washington.
Monday's TV audience was a drop of 17.2 million from 2009,
when 37.8 million Americans - the highest number since Ronald
Reagan's 1981 inauguration - watched Obama formally take office
as the first black president in U.S. history.
The Nielsen figures did not measure viewers who watched
Monday's daylong ceremonies online via live streaming on many TV
channels, nor overseas audiences.
Second-term inaugurations of U.S. presidents have
traditionally drawn smaller numbers of viewers than those for
Reagan's 1981 inauguration drew the biggest television
audience of the past 44 years, attracting some 41.8 million U.S.
viewers, according to Nielsen.
(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bill Trott)