via Nielsen:

An estimated 66.8 million people tuned in during primetime to watch the news coverage for the presidential election as well as the Senate, Congressional and state-level elections.

While coverage varied by network, 13 networks aired live coverage from approximately 8:00PM to 11:00PM. The chart below highlights the sum of the average audience for these networks.

2012 Election Night Coverage – November 6, 2012
8-11 PM
Sum of Networks Live + Same Day
Rating Number of Viewers
All Households 39.8 45,464,000
Persons 2+ 23.0 66,840,000
Persons 18-34 20.0 13,522,000
Persons 35-54 26.0 20,880,000
Persons 55+ 33.2 25,891,000

For comparison, here are the figures for the 2008 election night coverage:

2008 Election Night Coverage – November 4, 2008
8-11pm ET/7-10pm CT/6-9pm MT/5-8pm PT
Rating Number of Viewers
All Households 41.5 47,508,000
Persons 2+ 24.5 71,474,000

2012 Networks Included:
ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, Univision, Telemundo, CNBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, Current TV, TV One.

2008 Networks Included:
ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Univision, Telemundo, BBC America, BET, CNBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, TV One, WGN-America.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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