US election night 2012: how to watch the best TV coverage

From BBC1 to PBS and Fox News to CNN, no matter whether you've got Freeview, cable or Sky - your guide to getting the most from the broadcast media when Romney takes on Obama


If you have Freeview…


BBC1 – US Election Night 2012 from 11:35pm

(Channel 101/ 01 HD – Sky 143)

Veteran election night favourite David Dimbleby hosts the BBC’s coverage alongside Emily Maitlis. Katty Kay will lead a panel of experts analysing the results as they come in, whilst Jeremy Vine (along with some nifty graphics) will be putting the numbers into context.  Expect reports from BBC journalists in the key battlegrounds across the US.  

ITV1America Decides 2012 from 11:35pm

(Channel 103/03 HD – Sky 178)

ITV News’s main anchor Alastair Stewart fronts the commercial broadcaster’s through-the-night coverage and analysis, with contributions along the way from Julie Etchingham, Mark Austin, Bill Neely and Robert Moore. Correspondents in Washington DC, Chicago, Boston and New York will also bring viewers up-to-the-minute reports about how the states have voted.

Sky NewsUS Election: The Results from 10:30pm

(Channel 82 – Sky 501)

Jeremy Thompson will anchor Sky’s coverage from Obama’s old stomping ground, Chicago Illinois, as the satellite broadcaster attempts its “most ambitious and comprehensive multi-platform US election coverage” ever. Dominic Waghorn, US Correspondent, will be there reporting live with the Obama team with Jon Christopher Bua, US Political Analyst, on hand to provide analysis. Journalists will report from Florida (Amanda Walker), Iowa (Michelle Clifford), Ohio (Tim Marshall), Virginia (Ian Woods) and Colorado (Sophy Ridge) as the polls start to close across the country.

Al Jazeera EnglishUS Elections 2012 from 9:00pm

(Channel 83 – Sky 514)

Coming from Al Jazeera’s global headquarters in Doha, the news channel’s live coverage will be fronted by Kamahl Santamaria.  Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald will also be present throughout the broadcast, along with former ABC news correspondent Lynn Sherr.

If you have Sky / Virgin Media

PBS America – Election Night: Live from America from 11pm

(Sky Channel 166/Virgin Media 243)

The PBS NewsHour team will be reporting live throughout the night, relaying the results as they come in and providing analysis. Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill will oversee the the night with the help of Mark Shields and David Brooks. Jeffrey Brown will be analysing voting trends with Christina Bellantoni and Stuart Rothenberg, while Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner will be stationed respectively at both the Democratic and Republican HQs, in Chicago and Boston.

Fox News – America’s Election HQ from 11pm.

(Sky Channel 509)

Bret Bailer and Megyn Kelly are hosting the US cable network’s coverage, with analysis coming from Chris Wallace and Brit Hume. Bill O’Reilly and Greta Van Susteren will also be part of the broadcast, with the latter interviewing Sarah Palin throughout the evening. 

CNN – America’s Choice: Election Day in America from 9pm

(Sky channel 506)

Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper are to anchor CNN’s coverage from the broadcaster’s new Washington studio. The network will also have 29 reporters out in 20 seperate locations throughout the United States, and election night comment will come from 10 different analysts who’ve been lined up to dispense opinions.

CNBC – Your Money, Your Vote Squawk Box Edition: Election 2012 from 10pm

(Sky channel 505)

CNBC’s coverage of the election will focus primarily on the economy, with Maria Bartiromo and Carl Quintanilla anchoring the news channel’s Your Money, Your Vote broadcast from midnight. Correspondent John Harwood will be reporting live from the virtual electoral map rooom at CNBC’s Global Headquarters, and the network promises real-time results and analysis from Washington to Wall Street.

The best of the web

Chicago Tribune –  Election Watch 2012: Lively Coverage of the Live Coverage from the Tribune Newsroom from 1am.

Four of the esteemed Chicago newspaper’s journalists will be covering the election in a live streamed event tonight, which will be hosted on the paper’s website between 1-5:00am. Rick Kogan, Phil Rosenthal, Jenniffer Weigel and Kristen McQueary are the event’s main hosts, who’ll be peeling off throughout the night to chair panels discussing local TV news, radio and politics as theatre. The Tribune’s executive producer of digital programming said of Election Watch 2012: “We’re not trying to pull people away from the networks. We want to be in their laps — on their laptop or on their tablet. So they’ll be looking down at us while they’re watching the big cats fight it out.”

YouTube – 2012 Election Hub


Election night content from politicians, parties and “diverse range of news organizations” including ABC News, Al Jazeera English, BuzzFeed, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal will be streamed through YouTube’s election hub tomorrow night. “You won’t need to go anywhere else for the must-watch moments of this election cycle… they’re all happening here live,” said YouTube’s news editor Olivia Ma.