Earthquake Draws Viewers to Local Broadcast TV Stations


East Coast Station Tune-In and Website Visits Escalate After 5.8 Magnitude Quake

NEW YORK, August 26, 2011 – Across the East Coast, concerned citizens flocked to their TV sets to get real-time updates from their local TV stations’ broadcast and online coverage after the East Coast’s strongest earthquake in 67 years.

The markets closest to the earthquake’s epicenter — Baltimore, Norfolk, Richmond and Washington, DC — saw huge spikes, ranging from 156% to 246% increases in household viewers of their news specials, in comparison to the same time period during the July, 2011 sweeps.

Traffic to Washington, DC TV stations’ websites also soared to nearly 550,000 in the hours following the quake — almost three times the number of visits from the day before the earthquake.

Market 8/23/11 News Special HH L+SD Rtg* July 2011 STP 
HH Live+7 Rtg** % Increase
 Baltimore 18.7 7.3 +156%
 Norfolk 17.7 8.1 +119%
 Richmond 24.7 8.7 +184%
 Washington, DC 14.2 4.1 +246%

*Aggregate HH Rtg based on special earthquake coverage as reported by NSI
**Aggregate HH Rtg for same time period as special earthquake coverage on same stations as reported by NSIABC, CBS & NBC affiliates looked at in all four markets.

“According to a Frank N. Magid Associates study in 2010, local TV station news is considered to be the most important source of community and local information,” said Steve Lanzano, President and CEO of TVB. “The demand for local TV station news, on-air and online following the earthquake on Tuesday is a real-world example of that importance.”

About TVB
TVB is the not-for-profit trade association of America’s commercial broadcast television industry. Its members include television broadcast groups, advertising sales reps, syndicators, international broadcasters, associate members and over 500 individual television stations. TVB actively promotes local media marketing solutions to the advertising community, and in so doing works to develop advertising dollars for the medium’s multiple platforms, including on-air, website and mobile. TVB provides a diverse variety of tools and resources, including this website, to support its members and to help advertisers make the best use of local ad dollars.

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