Fox News set a new record Tuesday, chalking up the highest Election Night numbers in cable news history.
Fox News carried an average total audience of 13.6 million viewers, over four million more than CNN, which came in at 9.08 million viewers. MSNBC ranked third with 7.3 million. The other networks all came in with fewer than 7 million viewers: ABC (6.1 million), NBC (5.6 million), CBS (4.3 million) and Fox Broadcast (3.3 million). (RELATED: Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight Has The Highest Rated Cable Show In History)
Fox News also led the pack in the coveted 25-54 demographic with 4.9 million viewers, followed by CNN with 4.4 million. NBC drew 2.5 million in that demographic, MSNBC drew 2.4 million and ABC drew 2.3 million.
More than 20 cable and broadcast networks combined drew a collective audience of over 56 million viewers.
Fox News’ coverage of the 2020 election was primarily hosted by anchors Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier, with Chris Wallace, Dana Perino and others weighing in throughout the process. Fellow anchor Bill Hemmer made regular appearances to explain the electoral map in real time.
Baier responded to the news by thanking the audience for tuning in, tweeting, “Thank you for watching.”
Thank you for watching — https://t.co/MOrp85axuQ
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) November 5, 2020
The total Election Night viewership missed the 71.4 million-viewer mark set in 2016, but the drop-offs came primarily from the broadcast networks, which lost a combined nine million viewers. CNN scored the top spot in 2016 with 13.26 million viewers, followed by Fox News with 12.11 million.
The record for total viewers across all networks was 71.5 million, set when former President Barack Obama defeated the late Republican Arizona Senator John McCain in 2008.