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Election Night 2008 Ratings: 71.5 Million Watch Obama Victory, ABC, CNN Tops

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Over 71 million people watched the Election Night coverage, making it the most viewed event of the political season and the most watched television event since the Super Bowl (which drew 97.5 million viewers) and the highest-rated election night since 1980. Over 133 million votes were cast in the election.

ABC took the top spot overall, averaging 13.1 million viewers to NBC's 12.0 million and CBS' 7.8 million.

CNN won among the cablers, taking second overall with an average 12.3 million viewers for its most watched primetime event ever. Fox News averaged 9.0 million and MSNBC averaged 5.9 million viewers.

In the advertiser-friendly Adults 25-54 demographic, ABC averaged 6.1 million viewers to NBC's 5.8 million and CBS' 3.5 million. CNN averaged 5.8 million viewers in the demo, while Fox News averaged 3.9 million (its highest demo audience ever) and MSNBC averaged 2.7 million viewers.

The numbers, courtesy THRFeed's James Hibberd, below:

Broadcast Networks
ABC: 13.1 million total viewers, 6.1 million A25-54
NBC: 12.0 million total viewers, 5.8 million A25-54
CBS: 7.8 million total viewers, 3.5 million A25-54

Cable Networks
CNN: 12.3 million total viewers, 5.8 million A25-54
FNC: 9.0 million total viewers, 3.9 million A25-54
MSNBC: 5.9 million total viewers, 2.7 million A25-54

Other
Fox: 5.1 million total viewers
Univision: 4.1 million total viewers
Telemundo:0.8 million total viewers