Many businesses and industry sectors rightly malign the impact of winters storms. TV broadcasters and the TV industry aren’t among them, however. The storm of January 10-13 “didn’t just deposit record-breaking amounts of snow and ice across the country,” according to a post on Nielsenwire, “they also deposited unusually large numbers of viewers, especially kids and teens, in front of their TV sets.”
Not only did nationwide viewing show an 8% increase as compared to the prior year period, viewership was about 1/3 greater than the average increase for the last four major storms, according to The Nielsen Co. stats. With schools shut down, kids and teens– particularly in the Southeast where Nielsen analysts postulate “children…didn’t have the clothes or equipment to go play outdoors”– accounted for the greater part of the increase. Viewing by children increased 18% while teen viewership increased 15%. TV viewing increased the most in the Southeast, where it increased 16%; 34% for children and 18% for teens, according to Nielsen.
The Pacific region was the only one of the six regions tracked that didn’t exhibit a spike in viewership. “The breadth of this storm was the key reason that it resulted in such a large increase in TV viewing, Nielsen says, more than previous storms which affected mostly the Northeastern part of the country.”