Updated: CNN Leads Cable News Nets in 7p-2a Election Night Viewing, But Fox News Leads Primetime

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Bill would say “A once-every-four-years presidential election is not a business model!”  Nonetheless, in preliminary numbers CNN edged out Fox News (note: the numbers below do *not* include viewing of the Fox broadcast network) in the preliminary Nielsen ratings from 7pm-2am (from first polls closing to candidates speeches):

CNN               8.836 million total viewers/4.387m adults 25-54/2.711m adults 18-34      

FNC                8.708 million total viewers/3.494m adults 25-54/1.214m adults 18-34

MSNBC          4.604 million total viewers/2.021m adults 25-54/785k adults 18-34


Update: FNC easily led CNN in primetime viewers (though CNN had the primetime edge with adults 25-54). As you can see below FNC was the only cable news network up in primetime vs. 2008 with CNN and MSNBC down double digits from 2008.

PRIMETIME COVERAGE 8:00-11:00PM (primetime coverage)

FNC: 11,453,464 in total viewers (4,451,387 in 25-54)

CNN: 9,251,678 in total viewers (4,572,022 in 25-54)

MSNBC: 4,666,307 in total viewers (1,996,555 in 25-54)


2008 Election 8-11PM/ET (Primetime Comparison)

FNC: 9,044,000 (P2+) +27%, 3,925,000 +13%

CNN: 12,304,000 (P2+) -25%, 5,820,000 (25-54) -21%

MSNBC: 5,889,000 (P2+) —21%, 2,663,000 -25%


2012 Election –


FNC: 10,552,197 (P2+), 4,108,649 (25-54)

CNN: 8,881,539 (P2+), 4,355,915 (25-54)

MSNBC: 4,555,306 (P2+), 1,940,392 (25-54)


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