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CNN, NBC Win Election Night Ratings Battle

US President Barack Obama and family arrive on stage after winning the 2012 US presidential election November 7, 2012 in Chic
US President Barack Obama and family arrive on stage after winning the 2012 US presidential election November 7, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by defying the dragging economic recovery and high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

NBC and CNN came out on top on Election Night.

Though ratings were down overall from President Obama's first victory in 2008, the two networks will still be celebrating, as initial Nielsen ratings showed them leading the pack in broadcast and cable news, respectively.

On cable, Nielsen measured the ratings from 7-2 AM, the vast stretch of time when networks were airing their election specials. CNN notched a tight victory over Fox News, drawing 8.84 million viewers to its rival's 8.7 million. (MSNBC trailed far behind, with 4.6 million.)

On the broadcast side, Nielsen released primetime ratings, and NBC was the clear winner in initial tallies. 12.56 million people watched its coverage, compared to 11.15 million for ABC, 8.42 million for CBS and 4.95 million for Fox.

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