CNN’s coverage of Election Night 2016 gave the network the highest primetime ratings in cable news history.
According to Nielsen data, 13.3 million people tuned in to CNN from 8 p.m.-11 p.m. ET to discover the winner of the U.S. Presidential race.
Fox News followed with 12.1 million and MSNBC brought up the rear with 5.9 million. Among the key adults 25-54 demographic, CNN was also number one with 6.7 million viewers.
Fox News again placed second with 4.7 million, and MSNBC was third with 2.4 million. Among millennials age 18-34, CNN finished ahead of Fox News and MSNBC combined with 3.3 million viewers. Fox had 1.7 million and MSNBC registered 997,000.
Those numbers are consistent with ratings on broadcast. NBC was the big winner of the Big Four, taking in an estimated 12 million viewers during its primetime coverage of the election results. ABC was second with 9.7 million viewers, while CBS was third with 8.8 million.
However, the winner of the election was not determined until well after midnight. When looking at the whole night from 7 p.m.-3 a.m., Fox News was the winner. The network averaged 12.2 million viewers and 4.8 million in the 25-54 demo.
CNN finished second in that time period with 11.1 million viewers and 5.7 million of those in the key demo. MSNBC finished third at 5.2 million viewers, with 2.1 million in the demo.
While most pollsters and political pundits had predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency, her GOP rival Donald Trump surprised everyone with a last-minute surge in key swing states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Despite losing the popular vote to Clinton, Trump claimed victory in the electoral college with 279 votes to Clinton’s 228.
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