UPDATED WITH FINAL NUMBERS: Fox News towered over the competition — cable and broadcast — with its midterm election coverage last night. According to Nielsen, Fox News averaged 7 million viewers in primetime, up 128% from the network’s previous midterm election coverage in 2006 and more than doubling the audiences of CNN (2.4 million) and MSNBC (2 million). In the 25-54 demo, Fox News drew 2.4 million viewers vs. 1 million for CNN and 669,000 for MSNBC. Fox News’ viewership peaked with 7.2 million viewers between 9-10 PM, compared to CNN and MSNBC’s peak audiences of 2.6 million and 2 million, respectively, from 10-11 PM. During the 10 PM hour, Fox News also beat the three broadcast networks as it averaged 6.9 million viewers vs. 5.9 million for ABC’s election coverage, 6 million for CBS’s and 6.1 million for NBC’s. For its entire marathon coverage from 6 PM to 3 AM, Fox News averaged 5.3 million viewers, beating CNN (1.8 million) and MSNBC (1.5 million) combined. It was a big night for Fox News’ core conservative audience as the Republican Party took control of the House and made significant gains in the Senate.
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