"Dancing with the Stars" boosted ABC News to the top of the broadcast election night ratings, but it still wasn't enough to out-rate cable news juggernaut Fox News.
ABC's coverage, which was anchored by Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos, drew 6.790 million viewers (from 9:30-10:55 PM), with 2.643 million in the A25-54 demographic. NBC's coverage, anchored by Brian Williams, came a close second, with 6.362 million total viewers (from 9-10:54 PM), though the network topped ABC in the demo with 2.947 million A25-54 viewers. CBS's coverage, anchored by Katie Couric, placed third with 5.862 million total viewers (from 10-11 PM) and 2.188 million A25-54 viewers.
Of course, ABC was boosted by its lead-in, "Dancing with the Stars," which averaged almost 17 million viewers Tuesday night. From 9:30-10PM Tuesday, ABC's election coverage averaged 9.1 million total viewers. But when just the 10PM hour — when all three networks were competing head-to-head — is taken into consideration, the network was actually beaten by both NBC and CBS.
During the 10PM hour, NBC took first place among broadcast networks, averaging 6.268 million total viewers to CBS' 5.865 million and ABC's 5.525 million.
That said, all the networks were beaten by Fox News, which averaged 6.957 million total viewers across its primetime coverage, and 6.935 million total viewers in the 10PM hour.
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