ABC leads the broadcast networks in early numbers for election night 2020 coverage, but it appears Americans tuned in to the Big Four less than four years ago.
The combined average for ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox was 19.7 million viewers during primetime in the fast national ratings, with 3.2 million watching on Spanish-language broadcasters, Univision and Telemundo, according to the Hollywood Reporter in a piece published Wednesday.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 4, 2020
A total of 5.9 million viewers tuned in to the American Broadcasting Company, followed by NBC with 5.71 million and CBS with 4.43 million, per the outlet. Fox network reportedly came in at fourth place in the early numbers, with 3.66 million people watching election results trickle in. (RELATED: Here’s What The Election Looks Like, As Battleground States Remain Undecided)
As the piece noted, the numbers will likely go up later in the day when live telecasts and out-of-home viewing is added. However, those numbers compared to 2016 appear to be down, with the four major networks averaging 29.8 million viewers during primetime in the 2016 election.
The early numbers from provider Samba TV also suggest that CNN, MSNBC and Fox News had more people watching during its primetime coverage Tuesday night compared to four years ago. For the 2016 election, data shows that coverage on the three main cable news channels drew an audience of 31.3 million.
Nielsen numbers for the cable outlets will be provided later in the day. Across 13 networks in 2016, a total of 71.43 million viewers tuned in during primetime coverage, per Nielsen.