Local Broadcast TV News Dominates Cable in Blizzard Coverage


NEW YORK, NY (January 29, 2016) – The Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) today released its analysis of Winter Storm Jonas news coverage. The analysis reveals that local broadcast TV news was overwhelmingly preferred as the source for storm coverage over cable news during the blizzard on January 23, 2016, in the most affected markets. With many local TV stations providing all-day storm coverage, ratings remained consistently higher than cable news ratings throughout the blizzard (as depicted below).

TVB President and CEO Steve Lanzano said, “Ratings data consistently proves local broadcast TV is the go-to source for news and weather over cable news outlets. Local TV stations are trusted and depended on by viewers for timely and relevant information – that’s why their coverage of the blizzard blew cable’s out of the water. When it comes to important news, viewers count on local broadcast TV for up-to-the minute, potentially life-saving information.”

Key viewing insights from the day of the storm:

  • Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and New York were the four major markets to face the blizzard of 2016.
  • In all four major markets, local broadcast TV viewing overwhelmingly beat cable news.
  • In Philadelphia, on average, local broadcast television storm coverage had 10 times the adult 25-54 rating than cable news in that market.

Source: Nielsen Arianna, A25-54 Live+SD 1/23/16 Philadelphia 8A-7P, Baltimore 8A-8P, Washington D.C. 8A-8P, New York 10A-7P. Cable News: TWC, CNN, FNEWS, MSNBC; New York Cable News Includes NY1 & News 12.

About TVB:

TVB is the not-for-profit trade association of America’s local broadcast television industry. Its members include television broadcast groups, advertising sales reps, syndicators, international broadcasters, associate members and almost 700 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, online and mobile.

© 2016, Television Bureau of Advertising, Inc. All rights reserved. Republication and redistribution of this report in total, other than by TVB members or its authorized agents or designees, without written permission is strictly forbidden. Any republication, in whole or in part, must include credit to TVB and its sources. Terms of Use.
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