Almost 95 percent of Russian television viewers saw the traditional New Year's address by President Vladimir Putin, according to preliminary data from media research firm TNS Russia.
This year's address differed starkly from previous years in that it was delivered in two versions, the initial one recorded in the Kremlin and broadcast to residents of the eastern regions and the second one made in Khabarovsk, which the rest of Russian viewers saw just before midnight on Tuesday, Izvestia reported.
State-run Channel One was the most popular station for the address, garnering 35.9 percent of the television audience at the time compared to 24.3 percent for Rossia 1. Other channels — TNT, NTV CTC and Kultura — received smaller shares of the overall audience, ranging from 1.6 percent for Kultura to 7.6 for TNT.
Muscovites were less likely to watch the address, as 92 percent of capital residents tuning in compared to the nationwide 95 percent, but more likely to watch on Channel One, with 44.4 percent choosing the channel.
The 5 percent of Russians who missed Putin may have been too busy on their phones to pay attention to the television. Another Izvestia report published Monday said that 600 million text messages were sent on New Year's Eve, up 30 percent from last year.