Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

SPECIAL REPORT / Decision 2000 / AMERICA WAITS

TV Viewership Up Sharply for Suspenseful Vote Results

November 09, 2000|From a Times Staff Writer

Television viewers seemed to enjoy the cliffhanger election results, if Tuesday's ratings were any indication, with preliminary data revealing a sharp increase in viewing compared to election night in 1996.

More than 66 million people were watching election coverage during an average minute of prime time Tuesday, with NBC emerging as the most-watched channel, based on estimates from Nielsen Media Research. About 19.4 million people were tuned to NBC on average, while ABC attracted an estimated 15.7 million viewers. CBS drew nearly 14 million and Fox averaged 4.9 million.

NBC, ABC and CBS all posted significant viewing increases from the 1996 election, despite the fact that all-news networks MSNBC and Fox News Channel only came into existence that year. Based on the percentage of households tuning in, ratings for the three major networks were up more than 20% versus the last presidential race. Fox's primary network had not previously joined in election night coverage.

CNN--which faces a distribution handicap, available in roughly three-quarters of U.S. homes via cable or satellite dishes--topped the all-news channels and exceeded the audience for Fox in prime time. The news channel averaged 5.8 million viewers--a figure that beat combined tune-in for MSNBC, CNBC and Fox News, whose numbers may have been diluted by marathon coverage on their more widely seen sister networks.

An additional 1.6 million people were watching PBS at any given minute, and the public broadcaster estimates more than twice that many watched at least some of its election reporting.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|