Press ReleaseMarch 31, 2020
Spectrum News Networks Serve as the Essential Voice to Local Communities Across the Country
Local networks record double-digit increases in viewership compared to average ratings
NEW YORK – As the growing COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect communities across the country, Spectrum News networks have adapted their programming to provide the most relevant coverage on how the coronavirus is impacting local communities, and reaching new viewers by telling the stories and delivering the information people need to stay safe and informed.
“With families, businesses and neighborhoods adapting to social distancing, the need for communities to rally around each other and remain connected is vital,” said Mike Bair, Executive Vice President of Spectrum Networks. “Our communities rely on us to deliver highly localized news and information, focused on getting viewers all of the information they need during these unprecedented times.”
In addition to daily around-the-clock coverage, Spectrum News’ local networks have launched segments and series on linear and digital platforms to help viewers better understand the developing situation, and the direct impact it has on each community. Examples include:
- Spectrum News NY1 has added a daily one-hour call-in show, “One New York” with anchors Pat Kiernan, Annika Pergament and traffic anchor Jamie Stelter, along with local experts, to discuss various topics related to the coronavirus pandemic;
- Spectrum News 1 in Southern California has added a 9 p.m. newscast and increased its daily COVID-19 news updates to include reports every half-hour around the clock;
- Spectrum News 13 and Bay News 9 in Florida recently aired an hour-long special, “Coronavirus: Unmasked,” on the implications of the virus and what it meant for Floridians on an economic level;
- Spectrum News 1 in Ohio will soon launch a regular series called “Life in the Time of Coronavirus” on how this crisis is affecting local viewers, in their own words;
- Spectrum Networks Chief National Political Reporter Josh Robin is writing a weekly column, “Together/Alone,” which explores circumstances of life amid the pandemic;
- National Health Reporter Erin Billups is conducting daily interviews for Spectrum News networks across the country, and contributing weekly web-based stories and coronavirus-related health reports;
- To better serve local communities, Spectrum Networks has opened its paywalls for 60 days to provide non-Spectrum customers free access to the live streams of its linear channels and digital blogs on SpectrumNews1.com.
In light of the need to self-quarantine on a moment’s notice, Spectrum News anchors across the country are being set up with “home anchor kits” that include a full camera and lighting setup to allow them to transmit live reports, host primetime shows and anchor full newscasts from their homes. NY1 Noticias anchor Patsi Arias and Spectrum News 1 Southern California anchor Alex Cohen are among the first Spectrum journalists to broadcast from their homes using the anchor kits. Additionally, journalists continue to report, shoot and edit their stories safely from the field. Spectrum’s newsrooms are uniquely set up this way, with a distributed workforce that enables Spectrum News to maximize its local resources to produce the most hyperlocal reporting outside the confines of a newsroom.
During this time of crisis, viewers are turning to Spectrum News networks for the relevant news and information they need to stay informed. Comparing the week of March 16-22 to February 10-March 8, Spectrum News networks have seen double-digit increases in viewership:
- Spectrum News networks were viewed by more than 5.2 million subscribers from March 16-22, which represents over half the total universe of Spectrum’s video subscribers that have access to a Spectrum News network;*
- Spectrum News posted a 71% increase in HH ratings in its 10 metered markets (detailed below), the second highest increase of all the local broadcast networks and cable networks. In those markets, Spectrum News’ 71% increase more than doubled the increases from: MSNBC (+32%), The CW (+30%), ABC (+25%), NBC (+22%), CBS (+8%), FOX (+5%) and nearly doubled that of Fox News Channel (+36%);**
- From March 16-22, Spectrum News networks in NYC (NY1), Tampa (Bay News 9) and Orlando (News 13) were the highest viewed stations, based on total hours viewed out of all TV networks in their respective markets;*
- Spectrum News’ digital platforms had 11.6M page views – more than twice the daily average from February 10-March 8.
*Spectrum set-top box data is sourced from all markets where Spectrum News has distribution, and are based on a minimum threshold of 5 consecutive minutes of viewing on one station to count as a viewing HH.
**Nielsen metrics are based on Live+SD, Total Day household impressions in the following DMAs: Austin, Buffalo, Charlotte, Greensboro, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Raleigh, San Antonio and Tampa.
About Spectrum Networks
Spectrum Networks is a series of 24/7 news and sports networks owned and operated by Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), a leading broadband communications company and the second largest cable operator in the United States. Spectrum Networks carry distinct, comprehensive, and exclusive local programming on over 30 networks across Charter’s footprint. More information on Spectrum Networks is available at spectrumlocalnews.com.