US President Donald Trump's first prime-time Oval Office address, a nine-minute speech on border security and the government shutdown, drew roughly 40 million television viewers, according to a media report.
Trump on Wednesday asked the Democrats to allocate a whopping USD 5.7 billion funding for his controversial US-Mexico border wall plan to halt a "growing humanitarian and security crisis".
Trump's remarks during in his maiden prime-time address to the nation from the Oval Office came amid a partial government shutdown that is days away from becoming the longest in US history.
The speech itself made little news, and critics questioned why network executives had agreed to grant Trump such a large platform. Executives said they believed that the government shutdown, and its adverse affects on millions of Americans, were inherently newsworthy, The New York Times reported.
His speech fell short of his State of the Union address in 2018, which drew about 45.6 million viewers, and past landmark presidential moments, like former president Barack Obama's announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011, which reached 56.5 million people, the report said.
The building of a wall along the Mexican border was central to Trump's presidential campaign to prevent the entry of illegal immigrants.
Democrats and some Republicans have rejected Trump's demand for the controversial US-Mexico border wall.
The viewers included nearly 16 million across the three big cable news channels -- Fox News, CNN and MSNBC -- a major jump in their usual weeknight audience, the report quoted statistics released by Nielsen, a leading global information and measurement company.
The rest 24 million watched special bulletins on major broadcast networks.
It was the President's first formal Oval Office address and he thanked supporters afterward on Twitter "for soooo many nice comments".
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)