The Weather Channel Delivered Its Most-Watched Year Since 2013

By A.J. Katz 

The year 2017 provided some of the worst weather the U.S. and its territories have ever seen. Natural disasters were rampant. Hurricane Harvey decimated the Gulf Coast in August, while Hurricanes Irma and Maria pounded the Atlantic Coast, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands just days apart in September, inflicting death and destruction. We’re more than 100 days removed from Irma and Maria, and more 450,000 Puerto Ricans remain without power. It’s an island territory with nearly 3.5 million inhabitants.

During times of crisis, Americans who actually had power turned on the Weather Channel to get the most up-to-date coverage and information.

Named “TV News Brand of the Year” for seven years in a row by Harris Poll, The Weather Channel delivered significant ratings in 2017, and had its most-watched year since 2013.


According to Nielsen data, compared to 2016, TWC was +10 percent in total viewers, was +9 percent in the key A25-54 demo, +10 percent in A18-49, and +7 percent among millennials (A18-34) this past year.

Year-over-year viewer growth among the younger demos is especially notable considering how many millennials turn to digital options, especially smart phones for breaking news about the weather.

But hearing and seeing weather experts, meteorologists and top technology give viewers a way to understand both how to prepare for storms and the meteorological drivers behind them was quite valuable. You can’t really get that on a smartphone.

Meteorologists and reporters like Jim Cantore , Mike Seidel, Stephanie Abrams, Mike Bettes, Justin Michaels, John Zarrella, Reynolds Wolf, Ron Blome, Jen Carfagno and many more.

The Weather Channel, whose co-founder John Coleman passed away just days ago, reached almost 70 million Americans in 2017. It was No. 1 in total day viewers during the week of Hurricane Irma (week of Sept. 4, 2017), and averaged more than 1 million adults 25-54 on Friday, Sept. 8 in prime time, peaking at 3 million total viewers during the 11 p.m. hour. Those figures gave TWC its most-watched night since Superstorm Sandy in fall of 2012.

During the weekend of Hurricane Harvey, TWC was No. 1 in total viewers and in the A25-54 demo.  During the height of the storm, Friday through Sunday, the network reached over 37 million viewers, with 1 in 5 American households tuning into The Weather Channel.

While Americans generally turn to the Weather Channel when the weather is rough, they also turn to it for coverage of abnormal weather events. Like the Total Solar Eclipse. TWC delivered nearly 1.7 million total viewers and 459,000 demo viewers that day, No. 3 across cable TV.