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TV Ratings Show Trump Inaugural’s Numbers Not as Good as Reagan & Obama–Now Comes a Big ‘But’…

Saturday, presidential spokesman Sean Spicer said that the Trump inaugural had “the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period – both in person and around the globe.”

Entertainment Weekly reports, however, that Presidents Reagan and Obama enjoyed bigger TV ratings:

The only inauguration over the last three decades that tops Trump’s number in the linear ratings? Barack Obama’s first inauguration back in 2009, which had a record-setting 37.8 million viewers. So Trump was down from the last new president to take office.

But before that, to get an Inauguration Day number this high, you’d have to go all the way back to Ronald Reagan in 1981, who was seen by 41.8 million viewers (Nielsen released tracking for inauguration ratings back to 1969).

News sites, such as The Daily Mail, eagerly corrected the Trump Administration:

Trump boasts about inauguration viewing figures which were second biggest in 36 years. [But] omitted his had 7 million less viewers than Obama’s first inauguration.

Snopes” says Spicer’s claim was “unproven.”

Monday, Spicer said that his statement included online streaming:

While it does have the capability to do so, these Nielsen TV ratings don’t take into account the streaming and online viewing that was done via social media and various other places:

PC World reports that multiple websites streamed the inauguration live for free. Those viewer numbers are not included in the Nielsen ratings.

The White House, CBSN, NBC, Fox News, Reuters, NewsOn and even Democracy Now! all live streamed the events on their websites.

The Washington Times reports that the tech company Akamai Technologies reported a record number of eyeballs on computer screens:

Video streaming coverage of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration is the largest single live news event that the company has delivered,” calling the event “a new benchmark for live video traffic” which bested such events as the Rio Olympics and the 2016 Euro soccer tournament.

Their measurements are precise. The coverage reached a peak of 8.7 terabytes per second at 12:04 p.m. ET during the opening of the president’s speech, exceeding the previous record of 7.5 terabytes — Tbps — set during Election Day coverage in November. And what the heck is a terabyte? The term refers to a data transmission rate equivalent to 1,000 gigabytes — or 1,000,000,000,000 bytes — per second. In terms of an audience, that measurement translates into 4.6 million people watching the streaming coverage — about what ABC and CBS garnered during the same time period.

Advanced Television also reports that Akamai says Trump’s 8.7 terabytes-per-second (Tbps) streaming set a record, followed by the Euro 2016 final which reached a peak of 7.3, followed by the 2016 Rio Olympics women’s gymnastics finals with a 4.5 Tbps, the 2011 Royal Wedding at 1.3 Tbps and, rounding the top five, was the Obama 2009 inauguration at 1.1 Tbps.

The full number of eyeballs on screen is unknown, but it could have been at least 36 million people watching President Trump on Friday.