2. UPDATE 3:20 p.m.: While the turnout in the 2020 presidential election was the largest ever, overall turnout for the election results on Tuesday evening was not that high.

An estimated 56.9 million people watched coverage of the 2020 election on 21 networks during prime time, including both outside and post TV viewing, with CTVs accounting for up to 11%.

The total of 56.9 million fell from the 71 million viewers who watched the 13 networks that reported live the election results in prime time on November 8, 2016. Around 66.8 million viewers watched the live coverage of President Barack Obama’s re-election victory over Mitt Romney in over 13 networks from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on November 6, 2012.

2020 election: A worried Hollywood reacts and waits while Trump-Biden race remains unsettled

While overall viewership fell, Fox News Channel’s viewership hit a new high for 2020.

Fox News’ prime-time coverage of 2020 election night surpassed all television networks, setting a record for the most-watched election night coverage in cable news history. FNC’s prime time coverage averaged 13.7 million viewers and nearly 5 million in the 25-54 demographics, surpassing ABC, NBC, CBS and all cable news networks in both.

CNN (9.1 million) was second in viewership on the night, followed by MSNBC (7.3 million), ABC (6.1 million) and NBC (5.6 million).

The ranking reflects the current dominance of cable news networks over political reporting. Four years ago, NBC was the most watched network on election night (12.1 million viewers), followed by Fox News (11.5 million).

This is the first time in 12 years that ABC was the most watched network on election night.

FNC’s 6:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. special presentation was jointly anchored by Bret Baier of Special Report and Martha MacCallum of The Story (6:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET) and drew 10.5 million viewers and 3.9 million in the 25-54 demo Total viewers and the demo. Additionally, with 4.1 million viewers in prime time (8pm to 11pm ET) and 3.2 million viewers from 6pm to 3pm ET, FNC was the most watched cable news network in the 18-49 demographics. During last night’s coverage, FNC’s broadcast in both categories was up in prime time compared to the 2016 election (up 12% in viewers and 6% in the 25-54 demo) while CNN was off. Throughout the day, FNC was also number 1 with an average of 5.7 million viewers and 1.9 in the 25-54 demo for the duration of election day coverage.

P2 +

P25-54

network

P2 + AA (000)

A25-54 AA (000)

share

share

FNC

13,638

4.901

27%

24%

CNN

9,084

4,444

18%

22%

MSNBC

7.310

2,381

15%

12%

ABC

6,095

2.283

12%

11%

CBS

4,344

1.663

9%

8th%

NBC

5.633

2.510

11%

13%

FOX

3.278

1.608

7%

8th%

FBN

647

193

1%

1%

BEFORE: ABC and NBC top the preliminary ratings for election night. The networks ranked first among the total viewers (ABC) and adults between 18 and 49 years of age (NBC) among non-time zone adjusted fast nationals, as the coverage of election night was live from coast to coast and until late at night and on Lasted early Wednesday morning, the fast primetime Nationals are only a snapshot of the performance of the election night ratings. A more complete picture is expected later today, including numbers for cable news networks, which have emerged as the dominant rating force in political reporting.

A dominant rating performance from ABC World News Tonight this year could have carried over to election night, with ABC gaining its first audience crown in a long time. But, like the election results themselves, the rating race might be too short to name. ABC leads with a small lead of 5.9 million against 5.7 million viewers in the non-time zone adjusted fast nationals. NBC’s lead in the adult 18-49 demo is 1.7 versus 1.5 for ABC. The other two networks followed, CBS (4.4 million, 1.1) and Fox (3.7, 1.2), which used Fox News coverage.

NBC has traditionally won the viewer’s election campaign. It topped ABC, CBS, and Fox in 2016 and 2012, with ABC finishing second on both occasions. The order of the networks in the Fast Nationals stayed the same when the final numbers were released.

Election day 2020: full reporting as of the deadline

In 2016, the rating results were reported on the basis of measured market figures that have been adjusted over time. But last year Nielsen changed his methodology so that comparisons are impossible. Linear broadcast ratings have steadily declined over the past decade, and on election night 2016, all four major broadcasting networks saw declines compared to 2012. However, there was a large turnout in the 2020 elections which, according to the results, could lead to more eyeballs.

We’ll update the story as more review data comes in. ‘

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