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ELECTIONS '96

Coverage Turned Off TV Viewers

November 07, 1996| Associated Press

NEW YORK — Not only did millions of Americans not bother voting on election day, they didn't tune in to see who won or lost.

Preliminary ratings on Wednesday showed a sharp drop in viewership for election-night coverage on the major television networks compared to 1992. It was consistent with an election campaign that repeatedly turned off viewers.

ABC, CBS and NBC scored a combined 28.7 rating and 42 share for their election coverage from 7 to 11 p.m. Tuesday night. That's according to Nielsen Media Research's overnight ratings from 35 major media markets representing 55% of the population.

In 1992, the three networks had a 39.8 rating and a 57 share for their election-night audience, Nielsen said.

A rating point represents 970,000 households, or 1% of the nation's estimated 97 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of TV sets in use and tuned to a show during a specified time period.

CNN reported a 2.4 rating and 4 share during its election coverage from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., while PBS had a 1.6 rating and 3 share for its coverage from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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