November 10, 2016

Election Night 2016 TV Ratings

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Presidential Election coverage on the combined seven major networks (the four broadcast networks plus CNN, Fox News Channel and MNSBC) averaged just over 61 million people (two years or older) in an average minute of prime time between 8 and 11 pm ET Tuesday 11.8.2016, above the incumbent re-election years of 2004 and 2012 (each under 60 million viewers) and closer to 2000 and 2008, which also did not include an incumbent in the race.

CNN was #1 Tuesday among all new outlets, ahead of #2 Fox News Channel, pushing NBC to #3 overall.  This is the first time a broadcast news division did not lead the night, as the four broadcast networks fell below a 50% share of the 7-network Election Night audience for the first time.



In the target news demographic of adults 25-54, CNN also won Election Night, with NBC salvaging a second place finish, moving Fox News to third place.  ABC was in fourth place, well below earlier elections.  CBS, MSNBC and FOX (the broadcast network) were at the bottom of the rankings, with low levels very much in line with their historical deliveries.




About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.