(UPDATED with final viewership numbers) Donald Trump says holding on to Senate was “big victory” for him and the GOP and Nancy Pelosi today heralded a “resounding verdict” as the Democrats took the House of Representatives in yesterday’s midterm elections. The spin will continue right up until the 2020 White House race ends, but no one can dispute that Fox News Channel was the big winner in the record breaking viewership battle last night.
Just like the Rupert Murdoch-owned outlet did in the 2014 midterm elections, FNC wiped the small screen floor with rivals CNN and MSNBC plus ABC, CBS and NBC proper when it came to where most Americans turned for results and more last night.
In the primetime thick of polls closing, votes being tallied and shifts in power in Washington DC, FNC’s Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum anchored coverage was watched by 7.8 million viewers with a staggering 2.4 million in the news demo of 25-54.
That’s more than two million sets of eyeballs than second place NBC drew in the 8 – 11 PM ET slot. In viewership, FNC beat its own 2014 Midterms coverage by 24%. With an audience of 5.1 million watching punditry and political speeches, CNN was down 34% from FNC. In the 25-54 demo the Jeff Zucker run cable newswer inched ahead of Fox News by a slight 6% for what is basically an even result.
Overall, the midterm election had an audience of just under 32.5 million across the three main cabler news outlets and the Big 3. When you add Univision, Telemundo, PBS, CNNe and Fox Business to the mix that total rises to a record breaking 36.1 million viewers over 11 networks tuning in during the primetime period.
That’s a 60% surge over the audience that the 2014 midterms pulled in and rise of 3% over the past record of the 2010 midterms.
With Fox News on top, NBC was second with 5.7 million viewers and ABC was third with 5.3 million, according to Neilsen. Then it was CNN with an audience of 5.07 million, MSNBC with 4.7 million and CBS last with 3.9 million
FNC also snagged the bragging rights crown of delivering the highest-rated midterms coverage ever on cable news, including long before the once Roger Ailes-ran outlet itself was created in the mid-1990s.
Being that the cable newswers were, of course, on the midterms before primetime kicked off yesterday and afterwards, we thought you might want to know that Fox News was also number #1 with 6.1 million viewers between 6PM – 1 AM ET. MSNBC was second with an audience of 4 million and CNN last with 3.9 million.