If coverage of the election results past primetime up to the concessionspeech by John McCain and victory address by Barack Obama after midnight istaken into account, CNN was the clear winner with an average of 13.3 millionviewers for the entire night, according to Nielsen figures. ABC dipped tosecond with 12.5 million viewers, followed by NBC with 11.9 million. FoxNews, which is the preferred network of Republicans, saw its audience dropsignificantly to 8.1 million. CBS's slid slightly to 7.5 million. In astatement, CNN also boasted that its primetime ratings represented thehighest in its entire 28-year history, and its website, CNN.com, delivered30 million unique visitors on election day, the most in its history.Millions more tuned in Wednesday and today (Thursday) to watch Sen. Obama'sacceptance speech. (4.8 million viewed the speech on non-news sites duringthe first 24 hours after it was first uploaded, according to the videomeasurement service Visible Measures.) However, if all those numbers for theU.S. election seem impressive, several columnists reminded that they palecompared with the 97.5 million viewers who watched February's Super Bowl --on a single network.

06/11/2008