25 MAR 2020
SPECIAL CONTENT

DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, LOCAL TV NEWS VIEWS RISE IN THE USA

The top 25 markets experienced an overall 7% increase in viewership for people of 2 years of age and older, and a 10% increase for ages 25-54. Despite an increase in engagement, ad business sales are dropping.

As the main source of information, Local TV news consumption has increased over the past two weeks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With strict enforcement of quarantine restrictions, which require people to work and complete school from home, the biggest individual market gains over the month include San Francisco at 38.1%, Orlando at 26.1%, Los Angeles at 25.3%, Seattle at 25.3%, and Boston at 22.6% and the U.S’s biggest market, New York up by 12.8%.

The top 25 markets, Nielsen’s Local People Meter (LPM), experienced an overall 7% spike in viewership for people of 2 years of age and older for the week of 9 March, versus the week of 3 February. Research indicates a 10% increase in viewers between 25 to 54 years old for advertisers across all kinds of programming genres. The research was accumulated by Nielsen's live program-plus-same day time-shifted measure among local TV stations -- ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Telemundo, Univision, and The CW affiliates, along with as the top independent in each market. 

Consumers between 2 and 17 years of age are contributing to the views by more than 20% than before. Nielsen revealed that school closings are a major reason for the increases. “Non-adults have typically contributed very little to the profile of local news viewing,” said Justin LaPorte, VP of local audience insights at Nielsen. “In the week of March 9, however, when schools across the U.S. began to move to in-home learning, 25-54s added more local news to their daily routines. As a result, there was more viewing among non-adults.” Advertisers experienced a rising number of viewers between the ages of 25-54, a key selling demographic, across all kinds of programming genres. Among people who watch major broadcast networks in the top 25 Nielsen markets for the week of March 9, local TV news' share from people ages 25-54 who are viewing for all quarter-hours rose to 30.4%, from 25.7% for scripted drama to 14.4% from 11.8%) for participation variety programming, 6.5% from 4.7% for comedy, 5.0% from 4.4% for film, 1.2% from 0.6%. 

Something similar happened in Portugal, where SIC has also taken to provide the public with news coverage and prevent the spread of misinformation and harmful content. With that in mind, we’ve taken steps to stop misinformation and harmful content. This week, the channel reached record-breaking ratings during its news bulletin, “JORNAL DA NOITE,” leading at a 28.8% share in Live + Vosdal. Pay-TV Channel’s “SIC NOTICIAS” had the best results since its foundation, in 2001, with a share of 5.3%, in Live + Vosdal. Wall Street analyst Laura Martin notes that “Despite an increase in engagement on some platforms, in places hit hardest by the virus’, Facebook is seeing a weakening in its ads business in countries taking actions to reduce the spread of the COVID-19,” highlighting that many media industry suppliers are facing an increase in demand while being unsure of their budget plans due to the crisis. Network TV advertising sources tell MediaPost prices have also been dropping steadily, even before the news the Olympics’ postponement was made official.

Despite an increase in engagement on some platforms, in places hit hardest by the virus’, Facebook is seeing a weakening in its ads business in countries taking actions to reduce the spread of the COVID-19.” Laura Martin Wall Street Analyst