Hurricane Harvey Study

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On August 25th the first major hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Harvey, was classified as a category 4 hurricane and made landfall near Rockport, Texas at peak intensity later that night. Much of the southeastern part of Texas has been affected, mainly by unprecedented and catastrophic flooding. With little time to prepare, residents throughout the state of Texas needed the most up-to-date, reliable, and trustworthy news about the impending storm, including evacuation updates.

TVB engaged the research company Research Now to survey news media usage related to Hurricane Harvey. 724 respondents from the markets of Houston and Corpus Christi participated in the survey from Thursday evening (8/24) to midnight Saturday (8/26). The analysis revealed that local broadcast TV news was overwhelmingly preferred as the go-to source for storm coverage over all other news sources. Among the highlights:

  • At 89%, local TV news was the top choice for information. Coming in second were local TV stations’ websites at 45%. The third choice was national TV news at 44%.
  • Looking at daily time spent, adults spent the most time with local TV news at 3 hours and 31 minutes, compared to just one hour for cable TV.
  • When facing dangerous weather approaching their region, adults felt that local TV news (67%) gave them the best information on how to prepare, virtually twice that of the number two choice, cable news channels (34%).
  • 84% of respondents said they trust the news on local TV stations, compared to 68% for cable news and 35% for social media.
  • When it comes to digital choices, local TV was still number one. Local stations’ digital assets were the number one source, with almost 2 hours of usage, twice that of social media.

Which of these sources did you watch, listen or go to for information about the approaching dangerous weather?

Source: Research Now Hurricane Harvey Survey. 8/24/17 Evening-8/26/17 12AM Adults 18+. .

For more information, please contact Hadassa Gerber, Chief Research Officer, TVB.

comScore Local TV Ratings During Hurricane Harvey Confirm Viewer Reliance on Local Television Stations as a Trusted Source of Breaking News & Safety Updates

comScore Press Release

On Sunday, August 27, as Harvey approached the Texas coast and the flooding began to unfold, comScore Local TV data showed that homes not affected by outages clearly saw much higher overall TV viewership compared to the corresponding day the previous week. This difference was most pronounced in the morning and early afternoon hours, but continued to be evident throughout the entire day. comScore data shows that, during the storm, viewers were especially reliant on local broadcast stations to obtain critical information about the storm’s path, the flood’s expansion and how best to protect family and property.

In Houston, the combined total-day average audience for the ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX affiliates was more than 537,000 households during Hurricane Harvey, a 140% increase vs. the prior week. The share of viewership to the four major affiliate stations increased by 62% vs. to prior week, as well.

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