CNN Is Most-Watched For Day 3 Election Coverage

By A.J. Katz 

CNN’s in-depth, around-the-clock coverage of the 2020 election—now titled Election Day in America Continued—is attracting significant audiences for the network.

On the third day of prime time election coverage, Thursday, Nov. 5, CNN averaged 6.3 million total viewers and 2.9 million adults 25-54, noticeably more than any other news network, cable or broadcast.

Last night’s ratings win also marks back-to-back daily wins for CNN, after Fox News captured the largest audience on election night (Tuesday, Nov. 3).


Here’s how the rest of the networks performed last night during the 8-11 p.m. time period.

Please note these numbers below are via Nielsen fast national data. Final numbers from Nielsen, which will include out-of-home viewing, will be released later this evening:

  • Election 2020 – Day 3 (8 p.m.-11 p.m.) | Total Viewers / A25-54 demo

CNN– 6,342,000/ 2,870,000 
FNC – 5,558,000/ 1,511,000
MSNBC– 4,893,000/ 1,282,000
ABC– 2,717,000/ 819,000
NBC– 2,351,000/ 791,000
CBS– 2,110,000 / 599,000

Cable news’ big three was followed by ABC (2.7 million), NBC (2.35 million), and CBS (2.1 million) in that order.

ABC finished ahead of NBC in prime time on Day 3 (Thursday), while NBC finished ahead of ABC (and CBS) in prime time on Day 2 (Wednesday).

It’s worth noting that NBC presented 2 hours of prime time election coverage on Thursday night, beginning in the 9 p.m. ET hour, whereas ABC and CBS presented just one-hour of prime time election coverage (the 10 p.m. ET hour).

During that 10 p.m. common coverage hour, ABC averaged 3.2 million viewers, NBC averaged 2.4 million viewers and CBS averaged 2.2 million viewers.