Midterm Elections’ Vote Is In: TV a winner!

In this landscape of fragmented media, TV ratings soared the night of the Midterm elections. TV coverage of the 2018 midterm elections managed to attract a lot of viewers for a country that fully participates in the democratic process.

32.3 million viewers tuned in to watch cable news channels Fox News, CNN and MSNBC and broadcast nets NBC, ABC and CBS. If you include the Hispanic networks, Univision (non-ad supported), then the midterm elections coverage gathered up to 36.1 million viewers.

The Vote Is In

Fox News Channel won the night with an average of 7.78 million viewers. CNN saw its midterm demographic of adults 25-54 rise 183 percent compared from the 2014 election coverage. FNC’s target audience was up 43 percent from 2014. MSNBC’s target audience increased by 158 percent.

On the Broadcast side, NBC beat ABC. CBS finished the night a distant third. NBC’s election coverage brought in an average of 5.41 million viewers while ABC only drew in 1.85 million adults. CBS had the lowest numbers among all six participating networks, averaging 1.32 million adults of the target age.

Fewer Spot Load

CNN slashed its ads to the bone. According to iSpot.tv the network only ran six minutes of national ad units, an 86 percent decrease from Monday’s 42.5 minutes of commercial time. MSNBC cut its ad load 42 percent from 32.5 minutes to 19. While, FNC’s cut was only 34 percent from 38 to 25 minutes.

The End Result

For the first time in history, a midterm election brought in more than 100 million registered voters. Voter turnout reached a 50 year- high for a midterm election cycle- an estimated 113 million Americans voted. Even though a record was broken, 51 percent of eligible voters decided to sit this one out.