Local TV Dominates Cable in Blizzard Coverage


TVB / Television Bureau of AdvertisingViewers overwhelmingly preferred to watch their local television stations for news about the recent East Coast blizzard rather than cable.

With many local TV stations providing all-day storm coverage, ratings remained consistently higher than cable news ratings throughout the blizzard, according to analysis by the Television Bureau of Advertising.

“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,” says TVB President/CEO Steve Lanzano.

Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and New York were the four major markets to face the blizzard of 2016. In Philadelphia, on average, local broadcast television storm coverage had 10 times the adult 25-54 rating (2.9) than cable news (0.3) in that market on Jan. 23. Baltimore had a 2.0 rating, compared to cable’s 0.4. In Washington, DC, local television had a 1.7 rating, compared to 0.5 for cable and in New York, local TV had a 1.2 rating compared to 0.5 for cable.

The source was Nielsen and the cable ratings analyzed were TWC, CNN, FNEWS, MSNBC and New York Cable News.