Winter Storms Drive Weather Channel Ratings

Severe winter weather in the Midwest and Northeast helped push The Weather Channel to its best February total audience performance since 2011, the network said Friday.

As record snowfalls and arctic-like temperatures battered the Midwest and Northeast with storms with names like Linus, Marcus, Octavia and Pandora, viewers flocked to the channel, which averaged 292,000 Total Audience (P2+) across the broadcast month.

"These numbers make it clear, when there are important weather events happening people of all ages turn to TV - and when they turn to TV they turn to The Weather Channel,” TWC president David Clark said in a statement. “We have made dramatic improvements to modernize our storm coverage capabilities, and it's heartening to see audiences respond."

To cover the storms, The Weather Channel said it deployed more crews and meteorologists around the clock over more consecutive days than any winter in its history. Highlights included:

·         The Weather Channel averaged 292K in total audience (P2+) across the broadcast month, our strongest performance since 2011, even beating February 2013, which included the massive Winter Storm Nemo.

·         This audience was not only the network's largest, but also the network's most engaged over the same period,with the average viewer spending over an hour each week watching the network  (time spent viewing (TSV) of 66 minutes).

·         Along with the growth in total audience, The Weather Channel is seeing its core demographic (P25-54) grow bigger and more engaged. In total day, Feb 2015 (96k) outperformed the prior year by +26% and time spent viewing (TSV) grew by +28%. Also in February 2015 vs. February 2014:

o    Live programming grew +20% with coverage of several winter storms

o    Original programming grew +47%

o    Most dayparts posted double-digit gains across the month

·         Original programming continued its winning streak, on pace to register its 8th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.

·         With new co-hosts, “AMHQ” posted its best monthly average (89K) during the 7-10am time period.

·         During weekday mornings, “Wake Up with Al” saw an increase of +58% over the prior year’s average for the 5-7am block (84K vs 53K).  This was the highest performance for the block since 2013.

·         Weekend mornings (9a-12p) on The Weather Channel was the top grossing daypart, averaging a 146K (+54% yoy)

·         Fans were a big part of the storytelling during the February winter weather, sharing thousands of videos with The Weather Channel for use on the network, and The Weather Channel mobile apps.