A whopping 7.7 million total viewers tuned into Fox News from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT during Trump’s remarks, making it the most watched Saturday in the network’s history during that time period, according to early Nielsen data.
Trump’s rally also gave Fox News its largest Saturday night primetime audience ever from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Trump’s State of the Union address is the only telecast on Fox News in 2020 to outdraw the 9 p.m. hour of Trump’s speech on Saturday, which averaged 8.2 million total viewers.
By comparison, ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Draft’s opening night averaged 8 million, MSNBC’s most-watched Democratic primary debate averaged 7.7 million and CNN’s most-watched weekday Democratic primary debate averaged 7.4 million.
The Trump campaign has stated that even more viewers tuned in when including the significant audience that watched via streaming platforms.
“President Trump’s rally in Tulsa attracted over 4 million unique viewers across all of the campaign’s digital media channels. The live-streamed pre-rally shows drew an audience of more than 2.5 million unique viewers by themselves,” Trump 2020 communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement.
Fox News’ YouTube stream picked up over 2.1 million views, while Fox Business Network’s livestream drew over 580,000. The rally was streamed on a variety of other platforms, as well.
Liberal pundits have labeled the rally a disappointment because of the in-person attendance figures – but the Trump campaign disagrees.
“The news media, which encouraged protestors and bombarded Americans for more than a week with dire warnings against attending a Trump rally, are still unable to prevent President Trump from reaching the people. These numbers represent unmatched enthusiasm behind the President’s re-election and a massive audience that Joe Biden can only dream of,” Murtaugh said.
A spokesperson for the Tulsa Fire Department told Fox News on Sunday that fire marshal records show just under 6,200 scanned tickets were logged for the rally at the BOK Center. The figure doesn't include Trump team staff members or private suites, which were fully booked.
The president and his campaign had touted 1 million ticket requests; the arena's capacity is 19,000. The mainstream media has focused on the crowd size, with some top Democrats gloating that teenage activists sabotaged the turnout through Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok.
The Trump campaign fired back, saying that media organizations are complicit in spreading false narratives about the event — and that protesters and the coronavirus were the real culprits.
“Leftists and online trolls doing a victory lap, thinking they somehow impacted rally attendance, don’t know what they’re talking about or how our rallies work," Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale said. "Reporters who wrote gleefully about TikTok and K-Pop [Korean pop music] fans – without contacting the campaign for comment – behaved unprofessionally and were willing dupes to the charade."
All TV ratings information courtesy of early Nielsen data.
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.