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More Than 71 Million Tuned In For Election Night Coverage

2 minute read | November 2008

TV coverage of the 2008 U.S. election results drew more than 71 million average viewers Tuesday night, according to Nielsen.

Live news coverage was carried on both broadcast and cable networks, including Spanish-language networks: ABC, CBS, FOX Broadcast, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, BBC America, BET, CNBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, and TV One.

Nielsen’s audience estimates include primetime coverage, from 8pm to 11pm, in the Eastern and Central Time Zones and live in Mountain and Pacific Time Zones.

Audience estimates for the 8pm to 12:30am time frame, which featured Sen. McCain’s concession speech and President-Elect Obama’s speech in Chicago, are also included below.

In 2004, almost 59.2 million viewers tuned in between 8pm and 11pm to watch Election Night TV coverage, as President Bush defeated Sen. John Kerry to win re-election.

On Election Night in 2000, almost 61.6 million viewers (excluding viewers of Spanish language networks) watched primetime TV coverage of President Bush and Former Vice President Al Gore’s embattled election contest.

Nielsen’s broadcast audience numbers include a combination of national and local news coverage.

View the full media alert.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings by the Associated Press and Reuters, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Mediaweek, and Media Life magazine.

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