Charter Communications said its Spectrum News networks averaged more than 3 million daily viewing households in April, more than any other broadcast or cable news outlet in the cable operator’s nine-state footprint, according to its own set-top data.
“We had record-setting audience gains in April, seeing increases in viewership and engagement on both our linear and digital news platforms for the month,” said Spectrum Networks executive VP Mike Bair in a press release. “Our networks were created around community-based journalism. Communities deserve access to objective reporting and deeply-rooted stories that reflect all angles of an issue; our customers rely on Spectrum News for essential news they can trust.”
On April 20, the day of the Derek Chauvin verdict, Spectrum News networks recorded higher set-top box viewership than all broadcast networks where Spectrum has local news networks in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Texas. On April 28, Spectrum’s live network-wide coverage of President Joe Biden’s address to the joint session of Congress and post-address special recorded its highest-ever set-top box viewership for a national special, besting all broadcast and cable news networks’ averages in Spectrum News markets.
Highlights for the month include:
Spectrum News Bay News 9 and News 13 in Florida: During major storms in Florida on April 11, Spectrum Bay News 9’s Nielsen ratings in Tampa (1.17) bested NBC (0.71), ABC (1.01), Fox News (0.88), CNN (0.48), MSNBC (0.60), and were seven times higher than the Weather Channel. In Orlando, Spectrum News 13’s viewership peaked from 1-2PM ET, drawing a larger audience than NBC, CNN and MSNBC combined.*
Spectrum News 1 North Carolina: The debut episode of “Front Porch Politics” with political anchor Tim Boyum on April 7 saw 25% higher ratings across the state than the previous 30-day average during the 8-8:30PM ET timeslot. **
Spectrum News 1 Ohio: The network’s new weekend morning news co-anchors Chuck Ringwalt and Brionna Rivers, who debuted on air in April, had an immediate impact on Spectrum News 1’s weekend morning audience, growing the network’s share of local news viewership by more than one point from Q1. **
Spectrum News 1 Kentucky: Since launching November 2018, Spectrum News 1 Kentucky’s engagement continues to grow, averaging higher engagement numbers than CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC combined. On April 5 the network introduced a new morning news format with more local news, stories and weather reports, co-anchored by Mario Anderson and Kayla Moody. By the end of the month, Kentucky’s local news audience share grew 1.5% from 5-9AM and over 2% from 9AM-12PM. **
Spectrum said its Spectrum News App added more than 140,000 new downloads, bringing its total to over 1.1 million devices through May 6, a 5% overall increase from the previous month. On April 20, the day of Chauvin’s verdict, the app had more than 47,000 visits, the most of any day since launching last July. Visitors spent nearly 350,000 minutes in the app collectively, the fourth-highest total time spent since launch while live stream viewership accounted for 34% of time spent in the app.
*Nielsen metrics are based on Live+SD, Total Day household impressions in the following DMAs: Charlotte, Greensboro, Orlando, Raleigh, and Tampa.
**Spectrum set-top box data is sourced from all markets where Spectrum News has distribution, and are based on a minimum threshold of 5 consecutive minutes of viewing on one station to count as a viewing HH.
Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.
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