Top TV Stations and TV Station Websites Revealed


The Media Audit FYI
August 2013

A new report from The Media Audit highlighting the top local TV stations and TV station websites across 80 U.S. cities reveals that Salt Lake City's KSL-TV ranks as the most visited local TV station website among more than 400 measured TV station websites. According to the report, 66.9% of the Salt Lake City's metro area adult population has visited the station's website, within the past 30 days. The figure represents more than one million unique monthly visitors to the NBC affiliated local TV website.  Raleigh-Durham's ranked second in the report, with 54.4% of Raleigh's metro area 18+ population having visited the site in the past 30 days, followed by Charlottesville, Virginia's WVIR-TV (53.6% visited in the past 30 days). Ranking fourth is Southern New Hampshire's WMUR-TV (52.9% visited in the past 30 days), followed by Cedar Rapids, Iowa's KCRG-TV, with 50.4% of the metro area's 18+ population having visited within a 30 day period.


In addition to measuring visits to local TV station websites within the past 30 days, the study also provides insight into the number of persons exposed to each local TV station in a 7-day period, and how much additional reach the website adds to the local TV station's news programming.

In the case of Salt Lake City's KSL-TV, the website adds considerable reach to the TV station's early evening news audience. When the website is added, the total unduplicated net reach is increased to 76.7%.  As a result, the website adds an additional 684,000 adults 18+ to the TV station's early evening news audience.  The new net figure results in KSL-TV's website having the greatest impact on its TV station's ratings insofar as the biggest increase in percentage points added to total reach.

Other TV stations that experienced significant percentage point gains as a result of adding its website ratings to its early evening news TV ratings include Toledo, Ohio's WUPW-TV, in which the website audience adds 37.9 percentage points to the TV station's past 7- day TV ratings and Charlottesville, Virginia's WVIR-TV which grows its total reach by nearly 29 additional percentage points. The data points to the growing importance that website audiences have on TV ratings.

The same report further identifies those local TV stations with the highest early evening news TV ratings. Included among the top ten stations for past 7- day TV viewing are a number of stations that are part of smaller markets.  Ranked at number one is Decatur, Illinois' WAND-TV, which reaches 55.6% of all adults 18+ in the greater Decatur metro area with their early evening news. Greenville-Spartanburg's WYFF-TV ranks second in the national study, reaching 53.5% of its metro area's 18+ population, followed by Asheville's WLOS-TV with a past 7- day rating of 51.3.  Tyler-Longview, Texas' KLTV-TV ranks fourth, reaching 48.3% of the metro area's 18+ population, followed by Springfield/Decatur, Illinois' WICS-TV, reaching 48.5% of its metro area 18+ population.

In larger markets such as New York City, the addition of a local TV station's website audience to its past 7- day early evening news TV ratings result in even more significant gain in overall reach.  For example, the addition of New York City's WNBC-TV web audience to its local early evening news TV ratings result in an increase of more than 1.3 million. In Los Angeles, the website adds nearly 1.2 million to the local TV station's 7-day reach, and in Chicago, WLS-TV adds an additional 1 million to its total net reach when the website audience is factored in to its past 7- day early evening news viewing audience.

A summary of findings from this report will be made available at the upcoming NAB Small Market Television Exchange Convention in Phoenix September 26-28.  Or, for more information, contact The Media Audit.

Surveys were conducted in 80 U.S. cities between 2012 and 2013.