Gustav Packs Ratings Punch for The Weather Channel


The Weather Channel Tuesday said its round-the-clock coverage of Hurricane Gustav’s windy arrival on the Gulf Coast garnered a household rating average of 1.1 (or roughly 1.2 million homes) Monday.

According to Nielsen Media Research, The Weather Channel pulled more than 50 million total viewers on Saturday and Sunday as millions evacuated parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas in anticipation of what turned out to be a much more subdued hurricane than many weather experts had predicted.

Coverage on cable news nets CNN and Fox News Channel drew 43 million and 36 million viewers, respectively, during the same two-day span.

“This outstanding performance proves that when severe weather becomes the top news story, people turn to The Weather Channel as the trusted source of experience and expertise,” Ray Ban, the network’s executive vice president, programming and meteorology, said in a statement.

The network’s Web site,, enjoyed a 126% surge in page views compared to last year’s Labor Day weekend. Video streams increased by more than 1000% compared to the July 2008 daily average.

On Sunday, Aug. 31, The Weather Channel had a total day (6 a.m.-6 a.m.) household rating of 1.0, delivering an average 971,000 homes. TWC ratings peaked on Sunday during the 10 a.m. quarter hour with a household rating of 1.8 (representing 1.7 million homes.)  On Saturday, Aug. 30, The Weather Channel achieved total household rating of 0.8 representing an average of 805,000 homes. On both days, The Weather Channel ranked #1 in the 25-54 demographic, beating out the other news networks in that target demographic, network officials said.