NEW YORK (
) -- There were 56.5 million viewers tuned in to watch President Barack Obama's speech on Sunday night in which he announced the death of Osama Bin Laden, according to Nielsen data.
Despite the late hour and the short notice, the speech drew an audience more than half the size of this year's
Obama began speaking at about 11:35 p.m. EDT on Sunday night, only a couple hours after reports of Bin Laden's death started emerging.
Sunday's audience is evidence of how quickly word of Bin Laden's death spread, mostly through social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Nielsen said that Sunday's speech garnered Obama's largest audience since election night in 2008. On that night, about 70 million people were tuned in to the election coverage, which included a speech from Obama.
The speech on Sunday was carried on
. It was also broadcast live on the White House Web site.
--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.
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