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Fox News Wins Election Night Averaging 7M Viewers

News Corp.’s conservative cable news channel doubles its audience over the last midterm election in 2006; CNN and MSNBC both down

Fox News Channel continued to build on its dominance of national election-night coverage, with the cable outlet averaging a night-leading 7 million viewers for its prime-time decision night coverage from 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

From 10 p.m.-11 p.m., Fox News beat all three broadcast channels in the election game, averaging 6.9 million viewers versus 6.1 million for NBC, 6 millin for CBS and 5.9 million for ABC.

Both CNN and MSNBC were down from the last round of midterms in 2006, with CNN averaging 2.4 million viewers from 8 p.m.-11 p.m. and MSNBC averaging 1.9 million.

Fox's total prime-time audience doubled from election-night 2006.

Not surprisingly, the idealogical leaning of the cable channel and the corresponding rise of a dissonant political party tend to lend themselves to huge audience growth.

For example, in 2006, when the Democrats regained control of both houses of Congress, MSNBC experienced a landmark election, more than doubling its audience from 2002 while commanding nearly a quarter of the entire cable viewership for the night.

MSNBC was down only narrowly (less than 1 percent) from 2006 on Tuesday.

Also not a big surprise, all channels were down from their 2008 Presidential election coverage.