Nielsen: 20.6 million watched inauguration
President Barack Obama is sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as first lady Michelle Obama and daughters, Sasha and Malia, look on during inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington. / Getty
Nielsen says an estimated 20.6 million people watched President Barack Obama's second inauguration on TV, sharply down from his first.
The company, which measures television audience, says the number represents just over half of the 37.8 million people who saw Obama's first inauguration in 2009. Eighteen networks aired some part of this year's inaugural ceremony on Monday.
Highlights from Obama's 2nd inauguration
According to Nielsen records, this year's ceremony was the second least-watched inauguration since 1969. It beat only President George W. Bush's second ceremony in 2005, which was seen by 15.5 million.
The most-watched inauguration since 1969 was President Ronald Reagan's first oath-taking in 1981, which was seen by 41.8 million people.
NBC had the largest number of viewers among broadcast networks on Monday, with CNN the cable news leader.
Popular in Entertainment
- James Gandolfini dead at 51
- James Gandolfini: 1961-2013 21 Photos
- Watch: Miley Cyrus' trippy "We Can't Stop" music video
- Johnny Depp falls off horse on film set Play Video
- Etheridge calls Jolie's mastectomy a "fearful choice" 144 Comments
- Palace sheds some light on Kate's baby plans
- Watch: New "Anchorman 2" trailer
- James Franco blasts "Spider-Man" reboot