Hurricane: Weather Channel's "Super Bowl"
Hurricane Sandy may have been a deadly disaster for much of the East Coast last week, but it lifted the Weather Channel's ratings -- and ad sales -- appreciably at a time when the channel was bleeding dollars and losing viewers. There is no question that as horrible as the storm is, from a business standpoint, we are in the business of weather and more audience tends to mean more revenue, Curt Hecht, chief global revenue officer for The Weather Co., told Broadcasting & Cable magazine. With power out in hundreds of thousands of homes and battery-operated smartphones, tablets and laptops the only way to connect to the channel, it set a record for digital traffic. The problem, said Hecht, was that the storm also cut power to the channel's sales office in New York, forcing sales executives to work from their homes, which in many cases were also impacted by the storm. Hecht praised the staff as heroes, because they know that this is our Super Bowl with the company and this particular time it happened to hit our biggest sales office and so people were trying to juggle their family, juggle damage to their homes, reach out to marketers and do their job.