CNN tops cable ratings for total viewers during election week, Biden's speech
As news outlets battled for viewers in the days that followed the election, CNN came out on top with the most total viewers in the week.
CNN edged Fox News among total viewers for the week, averaging 5.9 million viewers to Fox’s 5.7 million, according to The Associated Press. But Fox News was dominant on Tuesday as President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden faced off at the polls.
Fox averaged 14.1 million viewers Tuesday to CNN’s 9.4 million, with MSNBC drawing 7.6 million, according to Nielsen figures.
CNN, who was the first network to project Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election early Saturday, also beat the TV competition in total viewers Saturday with 4.2 million (as well as leading for adults 25-54 and younger viewers 18-34), according to Nielsen. MSNBC was second with 3 million, Fox News Channel third with 1.73 million.
The cable news network projected Biden as the winner over President Donald Trump at 11:24 EST Saturday and continued to hold the top ratings spots in all categories as President-elect Biden and and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris addressed the nation for the first time Saturday night.
More than 13.6 million viewers watched Biden and Harris' prime time address on CNN, with MSNBC coming in second place with 9 million viewers, while Fox News was watched by 3.1 million.
For the week, MSNBC averaged 4.6 million viewers.
Cable channels were the preferred option for those following the election, as the broadcast networks lagged behind individually and cumulatively. Their Tuesday viewership was ABC, 6.3 million; NBC, 5.8 million; CBS, 4.5 million.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s show, “The Ingraham Angle,” had its highest-rated week ever, with an average of 4.9 million viewers.
The election-night ratings showed 56.9 million watched prime-time coverage on 21 networks, down 20% from the 71.4 million who watched prime-time results in 2016
Viewers also kept an eye on football and the pandemic-delayed season premieres of returning shows, including CBS’ “Young Sheldon” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” each drawing 6 million-plus viewers.
Powered by a NFL game, NBC was the week’s most-watched network in prime time, reaching an average of 6.33 million viewers.
ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening newscasts, averaging 9.4 million viewers for the week. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 8.2 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.7 million.
Contributing: The Associated Press; Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY
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