TWC: Viewers Don’t Stray During Ads


During this upfront, The Weather Channel, which has three new long-form shows coming, is touting its ability to keep viewers glued to their TV screens -- and paying attention -- during commercials.

Armed with new research, TWC is telling advertisers that not only do its ratings hold even during commercial breaks, but also that its viewers have a high recall of TV spots, according to Liz Janneman, the network’s senior vice president of ad sales.

TWC is making this pitch to Madison Avenue based in part on the minute-by-minute ratings analysis it is now purchasing from Nielsen Media Research. TWC is the only network buying those data, which are also purchased by several large ad agencies, such as ZenithOptimedia and MediaVest USA, Janneman said Tuesday.

In its upfront presentations, TWC is citing data from an “engagement” study it commissioned in conjunction with MediaVest from ASI Entertainment. That particular study found that the recall for TWC ads is 17% higher than the average of other cable networks. Overall, TWC has a 31% higher recall level than other news channels and a 27% higher recall level than other entertainment channels, the study found.

TWC’s upfront news includes new programming. The network has two shows that will debut in the fourth quarter: Abrams and Bettes: On the Weather and Our Climate with Dr. Heidi Cullen.

Abrams and Bettes is set to air weekdays at 8 p.m., and it features Stephanie Abrams and Mike Bettes. Our Climate is a weekly show that will air at 5 p.m. Sundays.

Then in the first quarter of next year, TWC will debut Epic Conditions, with coverage including following sailboarders to Oregon and mountain bikers to Utah.

In terms of content, TWC’s game plan is to spotlight its talent. That’s why the names of some of its on-air hosts and meteorologists are actually used in the titles of some of the network’s new shows, according to Janneman.

TWC is also involved in various new-media options. The network started offering podcasts on Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes ( last August, and it is averaging 5,000 downloads per day, according to Janneman. TWC is considering finding a sponsor for those podcasts.

In addition, the new Our Climate series will have a broadband channel with its own original footage, while TWC plans to provide a video-on-demand offering for Epic Conditions, as well.