TV is the Highest Reach Platform During COVID

TVB’s latest study shows that local broadcast television is the most trusted news source and key to keeping people informed during the COVID-19 pandemic

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#TVBForward20–TVB (, the not-for-profit organization representing the local broadcast TV industry, today released an analysis of a national COVID-19 study, conducted by Dynata. The study is an extension to TVB’s first COVID-19 survey in April 2020 that focused on the ten states most impacted at the time. Now months into the pandemic, this updated analysis reveals how people’s attitudes about the virus and their consumption of media have been impacted across key demographics, including ethnicity/race, Millennials and Gen-Z, and among mothers.

Hadassa Gerber, TVB’s Chief Research Officer, stated, “Months after the onset of COVID-19 almost half of the respondents in our latest survey told us that the pandemic was impacting their lives dramatically or quite a bit. Where do they turn to for information on COVID-19? This study found that twice as many people consider broadcast TV their best source of information on the pandemic compared to cable TV news. In addition, in an environment of unrest and skepticism, people continue to place the most trust in their local TV broadcast station news (79%) versus other sources like cable TV (66%) and social media (39%.)”

Highlights from the TVB/Dynata Coronavirus Media Usage Study Update:

  • Television is dominant in reaching vast audiences: TV reached 84% of all respondents, far more powerful than radio (58%), social media (55%), and video streaming platforms with ads (27%), among other platforms. This was also the case among A18-34, A25-54, A35+, respondents living in urban, suburban, and rural areas as well as among African Americans and Hispanics.
  • Among all news sources, local broadcast TV is the most trusted (79%) with adults 18+. This also extends to the digital sphere where the websites & apps of local broadcast TV stations (70%) are the most trusted digital news sources. Social media (39%) was the least trusted news source.
  • Respondents feel that broadcast TV news (50%) gives them the best information and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. Cable TV news (25%) was a distant second and social media (13%) a distant third.
  • Nearly half (48%) of all respondents noted that COVID-19 has had quite an impact or a dramatic impact on their lives.
  • Among those respondents currently employed, 58% say they have returned to their place of work but 42% are still working from home.
  • Most moms with school-age children (40%) said that their children will be taught exclusively online at the beginning of the school year. Only 19% said their children would be taught exclusively in person at school.
  • In the upcoming general election 41% of registered voters said they plan to vote in person on November 3rd, and 34% by mail. Among Democrats, only 34% plan to vote in person November 3rd with 41% preferring to vote by mail. Most Republicans, 54%, plan to vote in person November 3, with only 24% planning to use mail.

The Coronavirus Media Usage study update was conducted nationally by Dynata September 17-24, 2020.

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About TVB

TVB is the not-for-profit trade association representing America’s local broadcast television industry. For more information, visit


Angela Sundstrom



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Anna Wilgan

DiGennaro Communications


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