News of Bin Laden Death Is Obama’s Most Watched Speech

News of Bin Laden Death Is Obama’s Most Watched Speech

Obama's announcement of bin Laden operation is his most widely viewed speech yet. The number of twittering going on also was record high.

Published May 4, 2011

President Obama is seen on a television monitor in the press briefing room during his address on the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo: AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Do you remember where you were when President Obama announced news of the capture of the world’s most-wanted man? The Wall Street Journal is reporting that 56 million people were glued to their television screens to hear the president’s speech, making it his biggest audience since election night in 2008, according to Nielsen Company figures. That night, approximately 70 million people tuned in to watch election coverage and Obama’s victory speech.


Still, 56 million is pretty amazing, given that the president didn’t go on air until 11:35 p.m. EST on a Sunday night. By that point rumors of bin Laden’s death were flying around the Internet. According to Digitalbarn, in the half hour leading up to the president’s announcement, there were 5,106 tweets per second speculating on the news and had the highest sustained rate of tweets ever, with 3,000 tweets per second between 10:45 p.m. and 2:20 a.m.

Written by Joyce Jones


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