62 Million Turn to Weather Channel for Ike Coverage

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The Weather Channel Monday said more than 62 million viewers tuned in for coverage of Hurricane Ike as it approached the Texas and Louisiana coast Friday and Saturday, propelling the 24-hour weather channel to the highest cumulative audience rating among all cable networks.

The ratings bonanza was similar to the boon The Weather Channel enjoyed last week as Hurricane Gustav raged into the Gulf Coast. Network officials said its cume, or cumulative audience, has exceeded that of cable networks including CNN, ESPN and Fox News Channel in each of the past three weeks.

On Friday, the day before Hurricane Ike made landfall, The Weather Channel posted a l.3 household rating representing 1.3 million households.This was the 10th-highest average daily rating in TWC history.  On Saturday, TWC again posted a 1.3 rating representing 1.2 million households.

Ratings during Hurricane Ike coverage peaked on Friday night in the 9:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. ET quarter hour with a 2.6. Ratings remained close to a 1.0 in households through the overnight hours as viewers stayed up to watch Ike’s landfall. Coverage of Hurricane Ike on Saturday peaked at the 9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. ET quarter hour with a 2.9 rating.

On Friday, weather.com had its highest page view day of 2008 and its fourth-highest page view day ever. Also on Friday, weather.com hit a new single-day record for video streams, Weather Channel officials said.

“During this busy and perilous hurricane season, hundreds of millions of people have counted on The Weather Channel to provide them with the information they need to understand and cope,” Debora Wilson, president and CEO of The Weather Channel, said in a statement. “We are proud of having such an experienced and dedicated staff that will always live up to our commitment to keep people ahead of the storm.”

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