Last Tuesday’s hard-fought election produced the biggest voter turnout-approximately 120 million ballots cast-since 1968 and a prime-time TV audience of more than 63 million viewers, according to data from Nielsen Media Research.
From 8-11 p.m., NBC was the choice of the largest number of broadcast viewers, Fox News Channel had its biggest night ever and Univision was the overwhelming choice for Spanish-language coverage.
An average of 15.21 million viewers tuned in to NBC during prime time on Tom Brokaw’s last night anchoring the network’s election-night coverage. ABC’s prime-time audience averaged 13.22 million viewers. CBS averaged 9.54 million viewers.
Fox News’ combined reach beat CBS’s audience by more than 3 million viewers. Cable’s Fox News Channel was watched by an average of 8.05 million viewers. In addition, Fox produced a two-hour broadcast anchored by Shepard Smith for Fox Broadcasting affiliates that averaged 4.71 million.
CNN also had a big night, averaging nearly 6.2 million viewers. MSNBC averaged 2.84 million viewers.
From 9-11 p.m. Spanish-language Univision drew an average of 2.76 million viewers. Univision-owned TeleFutura averaged 610,000 viewers from 7-9 p.m. NBC-owned Telemundo averaged 745,000 viewers from 7-11 p.m.
The Internet also was a popular destination for people seeking election information. For example, AOL News tallied a record 1.7 million live streams of its election results coverage from noon (ET) Nov. 2 through noon Nov. 3, according to AOL. The coverage included live streams of ABC News Now.
The company said its previous highs for live streams included a cumulative 1.4 million streams from all three presidential debates and the single vice-presidential debate. It drew 1 million live streams during the Democratic Convention in Boston and 1.2 million live streams during the Republican Convention in New York.