Three quarters (75%) of people who watch the channel were deemed "purposeful" viewers, which is more than twice the rate (32%) of television overall, according to data released during last week's ARF Week of Workshops in New York.
The channel's sister site weather.com also draws a higher than average purposeful rating: 84% versus 74% for general Internet use.
The findings are important because it supports The Weather Channel's positioning to Madison Avenue that it is the go-to source for information about weather in the morning and throughout the day via updates available on the web.
"We felt the clients deserved more than just our best guess," explained Meade Camp, senior vice president of client solutions of the channel, which commissioned Knowledge Networks/SRI to research the purposefulness of its viewers. Knowledge Networks/SRI's so-called "purposeful rating" are the kind of metrics planners and buyers are using to weight their media planners in favor of media that deliver consumers who are highly involved with the media they consume and, by association, with the advertising that goes with it.
While Nielsen Media Research data is the basis of TV advertising deals and guarantees the Knowledge Networks/SRI study also estimated that 96 million people use The Weather Channel or its website, weather.com, every week, with 89% of usage unduplicated.
"We believe and have always felt that there's a unique relationship between viewers and users of The Weather Channel and weather.com," Camp said. "We think weather information is a unique entity. Nobody checks the weather just to check the weather. They want to live life better and they want to make decisions for their lives."
The study also breaks down Weather Channel consumers into five segments:
Camp said that while the information wasn't available during this spring's upfront, he wishes it were. He said they're taking the study, and presentation, to advertisers.