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Obama State of Union speech watched by 33.5 million on TV

U.S. President Barack Obama (C), flanked by Vice President Joe Biden (L) and House Speaker John Boehner (D-OH), delivers his State of the Un
U.S. President Barack Obama (C), flanked by Vice President Joe Biden (L) and House Speaker John Boehner (D-OH), delivers his State of the Un

(Reuters) - Some 33.5 million Americans tuned in for President Barack Obama's economy-focused State of the Union speech live on television, just a slight drop from the TV audience for his 2012 address.

According to ratings data from Nielsen on Wednesday, Obama's speech on Tuesday night was carried live on 15 U.S. broadcast and cable networks and was tape-delayed on Spanish-language channel Univision.

In an assertive start to his second term, Obama urged the sharply divided U.S. Congress to raise the minimum wage and strive for economic fairness for Americans hit by unemployment and four years of recession.

The TV audience for Obama's annual State of the Union addresses has dropped off sharply since he was first elected, from 52.4 million in 2009 to 37.7 million in 2012.

The most-watched television event in the United States is the annual Super Bowl, which drew some 108.7 million viewers earlier in February.

The Nielsen figures do not take into account viewers watching online or on mobile devices.

(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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