President Obama's second victory was less popular than his first, at least in terms of TV coverage.
Nielsen ratings for Tuesday night's election coverage showed 66.8 million viewers watched 13 networks in prime time, down from 71.5 million in 2008. NBC led rivals with 12 million viewers; ABC was second with 10.4 million; CBS third with 7.8 million; and Fox, which aired separate coverage from its sibling cable network, had 4 million. All but CBS were down from election night in 2008.
CNN again led cable rivals, as it did in 2008, but the race was narrower and total viewership was down slightly. For the duration of their coverage from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET, CNN drew 8.8 million viewers, down from 10.8 million four years ago; Fox News Channel claimed 8.7 million, up from 6.7 million, and MSNBC averaged 4.6 million, down from 5.4 million.