Fox News was a close second for the night from 7 p.m. through 2
a.m. with 8.7 million viewers. MSNBC had 4.6 million.
Fox News, normally a strong No. 1 among cable news in prime
time, won Tuesday night in prime time as well. It averaged 11.5
million viewers from 8 p.m. through 11 p.m., its highest prime-time
viewership in history. It was also the only cable news network to
see an increase in viewership from the 2008 election, when 9
million viewers tuned in.
CNN brought in 9.3 million prime-time viewers, 25% fewer than in
2008, while MSNBC lagged with 4.7 million prime-time viewers, down
21% from the previous election.
Among viewers from 25 to 54 years old, CNN placed first in both
the 7 p.m.-through-2 a.m. window and, narrowly, the 8
p.m.-through-11 p.m. slot.
NBC News was the first to call Ohio in favor of Mr. Obama at
about 11:11 p.m., apparently giving him enough electoral votes to
The pivotal 11 p.m. hour saw CNN draw 10.8 million viewers
overall, compared with 10.1 million for Fox News, and 5.3 million
25-to-54-year-olds, compared with 4.4 million for Fox News.
CNN's performance provides a much-needed boost for the network,
which usually places third behind Fox News and MSNBC. The network
is searching for a new leader after its longtime president, Jim
Walton, said he will retire by the end of the year.
Fox News's peak came between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., when it
averaged 11.8 million viewers.