CNN Wins Election Demos; Fox Leads in Total Viewers

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Cable: CNN Wins Election Demos; Fox Leads in Total Viewers

Virginia wasn't the only tight race Election Night as CNN fell just short of Fox News in total viewers , but beat its rival in the news demographic. During primetime Tuesday, when the three major cable news networks were wall-to- wall with political coverage, Fox News averaged 3.06 million viewers and CNN came up just 3% shy, at a hair under 2.97 million. MSNBC averaged 1.95 million.

In adults 25-54, the core demo for news shows, CNN beat Fox by around 6%, averaging 1.33 million vs.. 1.25 million. MSNBC averaged 893,000.

CNN's performance was a rare win for the network which has long lagged Fox News in the Nielsens after leading the market for two decades. CNN invested heavily in Election Night, staging a far more elaborate show than other networks did.

Viewers showed much more interest than they did in the 2002 presidential election, even thought that was pretty hotly contested. Fox increased 12% in total viewers, CNN rose 21% and MSNBC doubled its audience.

Network     Total Viewers vs. 200225-54 Demo vs. 2002

MSNBC            1,949,000        +107%        893,000          +111%

CNN                 2, 971,000       +21%        1,330,000         +34%

FNC                  3,060,000        +12%       1,253,000           +22%

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