TV Ratings: Election Night returns favor NBC
Stay tuned for cable ratings and whatnot later in the day
Brian Williams' "Rock Center" may be a bit of a black hole for NBC, but the Williams-anchored coverage of Election Night 2012 drew more primetime viewers than any other network's coverage.
Keeping in mind both the importance of cable news on nights like this and also the fact that Mitt Romney's concession speech and President Obama's address to the nation both came outside of primetime for much for the country, Tuesday's ratings are both preliminary and not especially reflective of much of anything, other than very raw time period data.
Stay tuned later in the day for an inevitable story on what Tuesday night's overall viewership ended up being.
But now... Numbers!
For the night, NBC averaged a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49, beating ABC's 3.8 rating in the key demographic. CBS averaged a 2.7 key demo rating, topping FOX's 2.0 rating. The CW, which aired a mixture of election returns and repeats, averaged a 0.5 key demo rating.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 12.56 million viewers to go with a 7.5 rating/11 share, just ahead of the 6.8/10 and 11.15 million viewers for ABC on Tuesday night. CBS was third with a 5.3/7 and 8.42 million viewers, which was far ahead of the 2.9/4 and 4.95 million viewers for FOX. The CW averaged a 1.0/1 and 1.55 million viewers.
8 p.m. - NBC's 8 p.m. coverage averaged 11.85 million viewers and a 4.1 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's 10.35 million viewers and 3.3 key demo rating took third, beating the 5.1/7 and 8.29 million viewers for CBS' election coverage. FOX's election coverage averaged 4.6 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating. On The CW, election coverage and a repeat of "Arrow" averaged 1.81 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - In the 9 p.m. hour, NBC's election coverage averaged 12.67 million viewers and a 4.8 key demo rating, with ABC's coverage jumping to 11.44 million viewers and a 4.0 key demo rating in second. CBS remained third with 8.32 million viewers and a 2.7 key demo rating, with FOX's 3.1/4 and 5.3 million viewers in fourth. The CW's election coverage an an "Emily Owens, MD" repeat averaged 1.28 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - NBC closed Election Night primetime with 13.16 million viewers and a 5.0 rating among adults 18-49. ABC stayed second with 11.66 million viewers and a 4.2 key demo rating. And CBS stayed in third with 8.65 million viewers and a 2.9 key demo rating.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.