- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Despite the late hour in the East, President Obama’s speech announcing the death of Osama bin Laden had an audience of 56.5 million viewers.

The Nielsen Co. says Sunday’s audience was larger than Obama’s recent prime-time addresses, including his March 28 speech on Libya. The Wall Street Journal reports that Nielsen says it was Obama’s biggest audience since election night in 2008. On that night, about 70 million people were watching election coverage during the period that included Obama’s speech.

Sunday’s audience is evidence of how quickly word spread and interest in the story no matter the hour. Obama did not begin speaking until 11:35 p.m. on the East Coast, the night before the start of the work and school week.

The speech was carried on ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNN, Fox News, HLN and MSNBC.

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