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66.8 Million People Watched Election In Primetime, Down From 2008

Nielsen has just released the final primetime ratings tally across all networks. 66.8 million people tuned into coverage leading up to the projection of President Obama’s reelection during the 11 PM hour (from 8-11PM ET). That is down from 2008, when 71.5 million people tuned in during the same time period.

The Nielsen-rated networks covering the election this year were NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, PBS, Univision, Telemundo, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Current TV and TV One.

Among the broadcasters, NBC led the way with 12.12 million viewers, followed by ABC with 10.52 million viewers, CBS with 7.92 million and Fox with 4.93 million. The cable news ratings for primetime can be found here. Fox News was second among all networks in prime behind NBC, followed by ABC, CNN, CBS, Fox and MSNBC.

PBS notes that it had a cume audience of six million, more than its 2004 and 2008 ratings combined, though for the evening it averaged around a million viewers each hour, well below the broadcast competition.

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