Hurricane, tornadoes, flood and fires draw streaming viewers
Extreme weather events dominated the list of the most watched stories on VUit, a platform that streams local station programming to out of market viewers.
VUit said that its minutes viewed tripled in 2021. In addition to weather, high school sports and graduations were popular with streamers.
The most watched television station on VUit was KTSF-TV, San Francisco, which provides programming in several Asian languages.
Backed by Gray Television, VUit was launched by tech company Syncbak in 2020 and carries programming from about 200 stations covering 174 markets.
“On VUit, we are making it easy to get news where you are at, where you are from, where you are going and where news is breaking. As the viewers shift to OTT, we see it as our job to connect broadcasters, viewers, and advertisers and the plan is clearly working,” said Jack Perry, CEO and founder of Syncbak.
Coverage of this month’s tornadoes by WAVE-TV, Louisville, Kentucky; KAIT-TV, Jonesboro, Arkansas; and WBKO-TV, Bowling Green, Kentucky, quickly became the No. 2 news story on VUit, following only coverage of Hurricane Ida in August. VUit carried Ida coverage from WVUE-TV, New Orleans; WAFB-TV, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; WLBT-TV, Jackson, Mississippi; WLOX-TV, Biloxi, Mississippi; and KPLC-TV, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Other popular stories on VUit included the Georgia Senate runoff election in January, Winter Storm Orleans, cold weather in Texas in February, extreme weather in Alabama in March, flooding in Louisiana in May, a fire in Rapid City, S.D., in March and the Iditarod sled dog race in March.
Among the most watched sports events were high school basketball from Kentucky in March on WYMT-TV, Hazard, Kentucky, and the Michigan High School All-Star softball game on July 14 on WWTV, Traverse City, Michigan. Also popular were several high school graduations on KCRG, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and fireworks from Traverse City, Michigan, on WWTV.
The cities with the most viewers logging onto VUit for local news content include San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Philadelphia, Traverse City-Cadillac, Wilkes Barre-Scranton-Hztn, Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, New York, Lexington, Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Marquette, and Charleston-Huntington.
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