2016 Election Night TV Viewership Falls Short of Obama in 2008
An unexpectedly close presidential race that led to an even more surprising victory for former reality TV star Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton blanketed television on Tuesday night -- and well into Wednesday morning.
Per Nielsen Media, primetime coverage of the election reached a total 71 million viewers across 13 networks with live reporting. That is for the 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. block, however, and not the complete stretch of coverage.
Early primetime ratings for the broadcast networks were off 10 percent from those of the 2012 election. With updates, NBC News led with NBC top (nearly 11.2 million viewers) — trailed by ABC (9.2 million), CBS (8.1 million) and Fox (4.3 million).