×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Streaming Video Usage Spikes During Huge Northeast Blizzard

UPDATE: Comcast reports that VOD viewing on the Xfinity platform spiked 23% on Jan. 23 compared to the previous Saturday, driven by big spikes in storm-affected regions. More detail below.

The blizzard that socked much of the northeastern U.S. this weekend created the perfect environment for TV binge-viewing as millions of people were left housebound by record-busting snowfall totals on Friday and Saturday.

And even with short notice, major TV and streaming services missed no opportunity to use Winter Storm Jonas as a marketing platform, particularly to encourage catch-up viewing.

Hard streaming viewing stats for the weekend are hard to come by, of course, but anecdotal evidence indicates plenty of people curled up with their broadband connections — at least those who didn’t lose power.

Streaming video usage in the Washington, D.C. area, which saw a deluge of about 17.8 inches of snow per Weather.com, was up 12% on Saturday from the past month’s average peak bandwidth usage, according to data analyzed by Fremont, Calif.-based Procera Networks.

Stars and producers active on social media also took the opportunity to promote their priorities to captive audiences.

CBS and Fox were already expecting to draw blockbuster audiences Sunday afternoon and evening for their respective coverage of the NFL’s AFC and NFC championship games that will decide this year’s Super Bowl combatants.

The blizzard conditions can only help those numbers as some of those who might have headed out to bars or group-viewing locations may wind up staying home, making them easier for Nielsen to court. That dynamic could also wind up benefiting Fox’s launch of “The X-Files,” which premieres Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET, after the NFC face-off between the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals is in the NFL history books.

UPDATE: Comcast set a record with 1.29 million people watching the Xfinity on Demand service on Saturday. Viewing in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. was up 56% versus the week-ago benchmark. Viewing in the Xfinity footprint in New Jersey gained 50%; Connecticut and the Boston market grew 40%. Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Pa.,  were up 38%.

Among the most-watched programs were NBC’s new Jennifer Lopez starrer “Shades of Blue,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and in kidvid, Cartoon Network’s “Teen Titans Go.” “Hotel Transylvania” via FX’s free VOD platform was the most popular free movie. Among rental titles, “The Intern” was the top pick, although “The Martian” prevailed in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore region, according to Comcast.

More Digital

  • Blockchain Mania

    AFM: Panel to Launch Blockchain Working Group for the Film Industry

    A group of film executives and tech industry entrepreneurs are to establish a working group seeking to plan how blockchain technology should be applied to the creative industries. The call will be made at the American Film Market on Tuesday in Santa Monica by Manuel Badel from Badel Media and Patrice Poujol from The Lumiere [...]

  • Magic Leap Raising Another Funding Round

    Magic Leap Is Raising Another Big Funding Round

    Augmented reality startup Magic Leap is raising even more money. The company is currently in the process of raising its Series E round of funding, a spokesperson told Variety on Monday. Magic Leap previously raised around $2.6 billion, including $280 million from NTT Docomo in April. “Magic Leap is in the midst of a significant [...]

  • hearst logo

    Hearst Magazines Unionizes With Writers Guild of America East

    The Writers Guild of America East has scored a major victory by unionizing Hearst Magazines’ editorial, video, design, photo and social staff across 24 digital and print brands. The New York-based WGA East, which has about 6,000 members in film, television, news and digital media, announced on Monday that a strong majority of the 500-member [...]

  • Apple AR Headset Coming in 2022:

    Apple Said to Prep AR Headset for 2022

    Apple’s augmented reality (AR) headset won’t be arriving on store shelves until at least 2022, according to a new The Information report. The iPhone maker reportedly updated a large number of employees about the project last month, filling the spacious Steve Jobs Theater on its Cupertino, Calif. campus with employees working on AR hardware. Apple [...]

  • Variety Launches New Video Series, 'Daily

    Variety Launches New Video Series, 'Daily Variety'

    Variety has launched a daily video series covering the business of entertainment. Hosted by Audrey Cleo Yap and executive produced by Eva Wong, “Daily Variety” will feature breaking news coverage and analysis from Variety’s award-winning staff as well as in-depth features and interviews with top industry professionals. Each bite-sized segment and featured clip will be [...]

  • Pluto: Vevo Stations Launching on Ad-Supported

    Channeling MTV, Vevo Launches Linear Programming on Pluto

    Music television is back: Major label-owned music video platform Vevo is launching a series of linear channels for leanback viewing on Pluto TV, the ad-supported video service that got acquired by Viacom earlier this year. A first channel, dubbed Vevo Pop, will launch on November 12; additional channels, including a holiday-themed station, are expected to [...]

  • Instagram tests hiding likes

    Instagram Will Begin Hiding Likes in the U.S.: Smart Move or Misguided Fail?

    Instagram is about to launch a test of removing like counts from posts in the U.S. — and, predictably, the idea has been met with a range of reactions ranging from praise and support to concern and mockery. The hope is that the change can reduce anxiety among Instagram users, to make social media less [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content