Prime-time coverage of the presidential election gave CNN a rare victory over Fox News Channel and made it the week’s second most-watched network behind NBC, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
CNN averaged 5.941 million viewers and Fox News Channel 5.726 million for its prime-time programming between Nov. 2 and Sunday. Fox News Channel had been the most-watched cable network 40 of the previous 41 weeks.
NBC was first for the week, averaging 6.33 million viewers, helped in part by the week’s most-watched program, the “Sunday Night Football” game between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers which averaged 16.88 million viewers.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched network in prime time on election night, averaging 14.158 million viewers. CNN was second, averaging 9.47 million and MSNBC third, averaging 7.661 million.
ABC was first among the broadcast networks on election night averaging 6.297 million. NBC was second, averaging 5.8 million and CBS third, averaging 4.498 million.
More viewers watched CNN’s coverage of President-elect Joe Biden’s speech Saturday after he was declared the winner, with the hourlong coverage averaging 13.503 million viewers, sixth among the week’s prime-time programs. MSNBC’s 32 minutes of coverage was second, averaging 9.005 million.
CBS was second for the week among the broadcast networks and fourth overall, averaging 4.95 million viewers. Its average was bolstered by a 46-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones which averaged 26.21 million viewers.
The runover is not considered a separate program.
“60 Minutes” which followed the runover, averaged 14.022 million viewers, fourth for the week behind “Sunday Night Football” and two segments of Fox News Channel’s election night coverage.
MSNBC was fifth for the week, averaging 4.62 million viewers. Fox was sixth, averaging 4.31 million for its 16 hours, 16 minutes of prime-time programming, followed by ABC, which averaged 4.1 million.
All the other networks among the top seven aired the customary 22 hours of prime-time programming.
The NBC singing competition “The Voice” was the most-watched entertainment program for the third consecutive week, with the Nov. 2 episode averaging 7.712 million viewers, 20th for the week, including trailing 11 cable programs on the election results and seven NFL programs.
The season premiere of the CBS comedy “Young Sheldon” was the week’s most-watched scripted program, averaging 6.776 million viewers, 23rd for the week, including trailing 14 cable news programs and seven NFL programs. It was second behind “The Voice” among entertainment programs.
The premiere of the CBS comedy “B Positive” which followed “Young Sheldon” averaged 5.146 million viewers, seventh among entertainment programs. Its overall rank was not available.
“Schitt’s Creek” was the most-streamed program on the four services measured by Nielsen for the second consecutive week with viewers watching 1.456 million minutes of the comedy’s 80 episodes between Oct. 5-11.
The nine-episode Netflix horror series “The Haunting of Bly Manor” was second among programming streamed on Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu and Netflix, with viewers watching 1.175 billion minutes in the first three days it was available.
The most-watched Spanish-language program was an hourlong report on the presidential election Wednesday on Univision that averaged 2.055 million viewers, 59th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 49th consecutive week and 51st time in 52 weeks, averaging 1.34 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.08 million, followed by UniMas (470,000), Estrella TV (190,000) and Azteca America (60,000).
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 49th consecutive week, the 100th time in 101 weeks and the 152nd time in 154 weeks, averaging 9.076 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.877 million viewers for its Monday and Wednesday through Friday newscasts. The “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell,” averaged 5.729 million for its Monday, Wednesday and Friday newscasts.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; the 6-7 p.m. and 7-8 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) segments of Fox News Channel’s election night coverage; “60 Minutes”; Fox’s “Thursday Night Football” game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers; CNN’s coverage of Biden’s acceptance speech; the 5-6 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) segment of Fox News Channel’s election night coverage; the nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants; and Fox’s six-minute NFL postgame show.
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