TV Viewing Jumps With Winter Storms

NEW YORK: Nielsen says snow is boosting TV ratings. The metric firm says the storm of Jan. 10-13, 2011 was “the most impactful storm in recent history” in TV audience terms. The nationwide blizzards and snowstorms “deposited unusually large numbers of viewers, especially kids and teens, in front of their TV sets.”

Total national television viewing during the storm increased by 8 percent versus the prior year, about one-third higher than the average increase in viewing from the last four major storms. The growth in TV viewers during this storm came mostly from viewing by kids and teens staying home from school, Nielsen said. Viewing by children 2-11 was up by 18 percent, and teens were up by 15 percent.

The largest growth in audience occurred in the Southeast, which saw a 16 percent increase overall, and up 34 percent for kids and 18 percent for teens. The Pacific region was the only part of the country without a viewership spike during the storm.

-- Deborah McAdams