ABC Leads Broadcast Nets, But Cable Likely Winner in Election Coverage

Nov 5, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Early ratings returns from metered markets for the broadcast networks’ election coverage Tuesday may indicate a larger audience still to be announced for cable news networks later Wednesday. Despite covering a presidential election universally acknowledged as being fraught with history, the four broadcast networks saw their combined ratings drop 11% compared with Election Night 2004.
In Nielsen Media Research data from 56 metered markets, ABC led easily with an average 9.2 rating and a 13 share from 8 to 11 p.m. EST. NBC was second with an 8.3 rating/12 share. CBS had a 4.7 rating/7 share. Fox Broadcasting posted a 3.7/5.
ABC showed no decline compared to Election Night 2004, when it also averaged a 9.1/13. NBC was down 22% from 2004, when it led with a 10.6/15. CBS was down 22% from 2004’s 6.0/8. Fox Broadcasting’s coverage attracted 9% more viewers than four years ago, when it averaged a 3.4/5.
The four-network total Tuesday night was 25.8/37, down from 29.1/41 in 2004.
Each ratings point represents 1% of the total number of TV homes in the 56 markets, representing about 70% of the U.S. TV universe, being measured in the overnight sample. Each share point represents 1% of the number of TV sets in use at the time that were tuned to a network.
The networks’ averages do not include the coverage all offered well past midnight Eastern time, when President-elect Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech in Chicago, as they talked about the impact of the election, what lies ahead and races that were still be close to call.
Final national ratings, including cable, will be released late Wednesday.


  1. Here is the latest I have on ratings.

  2. I would just like to say ABC does a GREAT job in all coverage breaking news !! they are the tops!! Thanks so much to the great team work!!

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