An estimated 43.3 million people saw President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders speak to the nation on border security and the partial government shutdown.
The Nielsen company said Wednesday that a similar presidential address, when Barack Obama spoke in 2014 about fighting the Islamic State, was seen by 34 million people.
Viewership for Trump's address was just two million fewer viewers than for his 2018 State of the Union address.
There was some internal debate at networks about whether to grant Trump the TV time for Tuesday's speech, but 11 separate networks aired it.
Fox News Channel with 8.044 million viewers and CBS with 8.043 million were in a virtual dead heat as the top destination. NBC was third with 7 million, followed by ABC, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox broadcasting.