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66.8 Million Watch 2012 Primetime Election Coverage

Audience Down 6% from 2008; NBC Leads All Networks with 12.1 Million Viewers 11/07/2012 8:24 PM Eastern
Approximately 66.8 million viewers tuned into TV news coverage of Election Night during primetime, a decrease of 6% from the 2008 presidential election, which drew 71.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

That figure includes audiences on 13 networks -- ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, Univision, Telemundo, CNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Current TV and TV One -- during live coverage from 8-11 p.m. (ET).

In primetime, NBC was the most-watched network, averaging 12.1 million viewers. It was followed by Fox News, which had 11.5 million viewers and ABC, which averaged 10 .5 million. CNN was fourth with 9.3 million viewers in primetime, CBS was fifth with 7.9 million viewers, Fox was sixth with 4.9 million and MSNBC averaged 4.7 million viewers.

For full-night cable ratings (7 p.m.-2 p.m. ET), CNN held a slight lead on Fox News. FNC, for its part, was the only cable network to grow its audience from 2008 Election Night, as was CBS on the broadcast side.

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