By Chuck Barney
Though Karl Rove still may want to contest the results, NBC can claim an impressive Election Night victory.
Based on preliminary returns, the network's news team, which was the first to call the presidential race in favor of Barack Obama, wound up winning the ratings war. NBC, with its funny-looking ice-rink electoral map, led the major broadcasters with an average audience of 12.56 million viewers -- up 5 percent vs. its numbers four years ago.
ABC was next with 11.15 million viewers (down 15 percent), while CBS drew 8.42 million (up 8 percent) and Fox was flat at 4.95 million.
Final ratings for all of the broadcast networks' election coverage -- as well as returns from the cable outlets -- were expected to be available later on Wednesday.