comScore data shows that, during the storm, viewers were especially reliant on local broadcast stations to obtain critical information about the storm's path, the flood's expansion and how best to protect family and property.
In Houston, the combined total-day average audience for the ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX affiliates was more than 537,000 households during Hurricane Harvey, a 140% increase vs. the prior week. The share of viewership to the four major affiliate stations increased by 62% vs. prior week, as well.
In Beaumont during Hurricane Harvey, the major TV stations' average audience was double that of the relevant cable channels across the entire broadcast day, and represented an 89% increase in viewership versus the prior week's audiences.
"The Hurricane-related devastation in Texas and Florida reminds us all that Mother Nature can unleash terrible fury upon us and our neighbors from time to time, and local television stations have been, and clearly remain, a vital source of information for viewers across the country in times of severe trouble in local markets," said comScore's Executive Vice President of Local Television, Steve Walsh. "We are pleased that comScore Local TV measurement can withstand the impact of weather-related power outages and continue to reflect real viewing activity as it happens, providing local markets large and small with the viewing data they need to understand their audiences."