According to Nielsen preliminary estimates, a total of 11.42 million viewers were watching during any average minute of primetime Tuesday — up from 10.96 million on Super Tuesday (March 1) and the largest ever for a night of results during the primary stage of the election. Both Fox News and CNN outdrew the primetime lineups of broadcasters ABC and Fox.
Looking at the numbers, Fox News Channel set another cable news record with last night’s coverage of Super Tuesday II or III (your mileage varies), when results from seven states were revealed. It averaged 5.006 million viewers, putting it ahead of CNN (4.316 million) and miles ahead of MSNBC (2.096 million). FNC had set the previous high for a night of primary coverage was Super Tuesday, when it drew 4.9 million.
For the night, Fox News and CNN both outdrew the programming on ABC (3.1 million) and Fox (1.8 million). MSNBC also outdrew broadcaster Fox.
As it was on Super Tuesday, CNN led the way among the news networks in the key news demo of adults 25-54 with 1.587 million viewers from 8 to 11 p.m. ET, a smidge below its 1.598 million in the demo on Super Tuesday. It was followed by Fox News (1.334 million), with MSNBC once again drawing less than the number of viewers as its rivals.
Among all networks Tuesday, CNN and Fox finished third and fourth, respectively, in adults 25-54, beating the preliminary averages of both ABC (1.29 million) and Fox (1.04 million).