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Cable TV Weather Competition Heats Up As AccuWeather Announces

Mon February 03 2014 11:26 pm
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AccuWeather announced January 13, 2014 that the company will launch a 24X7 weather channel, to be known as the AccuWeather Channel, in the third quarter of 2014.
AccuWeather reports it had not planned to make the announcement this early, but decided to accelerate the announcement in light of the controversy that has developed between DIRECTV and The Weather Channel, and in order to make the public aware of an additional offering that will be available to them later this year.

Accuweather Channel is scheduled to launch in the third quarter of 2014 — competing with The Weather Channel and WeatherNation.

The Weather Channel started a campaign to gain viewer support to contact Congress to inform politicians of the importance of the Weather Channel as a lifesaving service that DIRECTV was about to eliminate. In fact, The Weather Channel was increasing their pricing, and DIRECTV did not want to pass the cost increase to its subscribers or take a loss by accepting The Weather Channel’s increased cost. So DIRECTV announced it was dropping The Weather Channel last month. That’s when The Weather Channel started a campaign to urge subscribers to complain to DIRECTV and “contact Congress.”

Consumers understand there are now a variety of other ways to get weather coverage, free of reality show clutter, and that The Weather Channel does not have an exclusiv on weather coverage — the weather belongs to everyone.”


DIRECTV replied with claims that they had received several complaints about The Weather Channel having too much reality television, even at times when severe weather is occurring.

The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore & consumer media analyst Barry Parr on the dispute between TWC and DirecTV that led to TWC being blacked out in 20 million homes.

Barry Parr explains that weather as a commodity is part of the issue, and that there is a transition in the pay television business, where businesses need to cut cost in programming. Parr says local television affiliates are “all over” local severe weather new and alerts.

DIRECTV has turned to WeatherNation TV as its 24-hour weather TV network WeatherNation was founded by meteorologist and entrepreneur Paul Douglas, and is a weather-only provider.

WeatherNation launched on DirecTV channel 361 on December 16, 2013, one channel over from The Weather Channel. The launch occurred as DirecTV renegotiated its contract with The Weather Channel.[14] When DirecTV stopped broadcasting The Weather Channel on January 14, 2014, the network was replaced with WeatherNation, so that WeatherNation aired on both channels 361 and 362.

Ironically, while The Weather Channel was claiming that their programming is vital to giving people early warning for severe weather for saving lives and protecting property, their hometown politicians failed to heed to weather warnings in Atlanta, and now politicians are under attack by journalists for failing to be prepared for the rare Winter weather that hit Atlanta.

Michael Brown and CNN’s Carol Costello joins Brian Stelter to discuss dissecting political talking points.

Some people were reported to have been stuck in their vehicles in traffic jams up to 23 hours. Former FEMA Director Michael Brown says the key for public officials is to understand that “if they fail to take action, they’re going to have many more problems than if they take some action, but it’s the wrong action.”

Carol Costello chides politicians, saying when they went on the air, they said, “Wow, gosh we did everything that we could; the weather forecast must have been wrong.”

Accuweather reports their announcement has been met with enthusiasm with people that anticipate competition with The Weather Channel.

So WeatherNation will struggle to gain footing, while The Weather Channel may have to re-think their mission, and bring real reality back to weather programming.

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CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Monday, February 3rd, 2014

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