Executives at the company that owns Cable’s venerable Weather Channel know they have a popular service. The network has existed since 1982. Now they are hoping for a double lightning strike.
A live stream of the outlet will be made available via app for connected TVs, and subscribers who already get the cable version can get it by providing details about their provider. Others who wish to access it can do so for a fee of $2.99 per month. It’s the first time the network has offered its own direct-to-consumer subscription.
It does this with new winds blowing in the business of giving people news about the weather. Fox Corp. launched its own direct-to-consumer weather service, Fox Weather, for the digital crowd last fall. The ad-supported service is free, but has occasionally appeared on some of the company’s cable channels, such as Fox Business Network.
“This is a major step for The Weather Channel television network as we expand access to our world-class weather news and entertainment content,” said Byron Allen, founder and CEO of Allen Media Group, parent company of The Weather Channel. “Our updated app allows subscribers to customize their viewing experience based on their location and needs. As many regions of the country prepare for the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, it was very important to launch this new app to ensure our life-saving weather information is available to everyone 24/7.”
Weather information has long been viewed as a form of assistance. At some point most people want to know what the weather will be like outside. In recent years, however, information about the weather and the environment has become more existential. Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and heat spikes are becoming more common due to the planet’s changing climate, and the phenomenon could lead to all sorts of other conditions that consumers will be keen to understand. The Earth’s changing climate is likely to have a greater impact on the health of individuals and is likely to spur new decisions by large corporations. It could even spark national security debates as permafrost and ice melt in polar regions. The Weather Channel last year introduced a new content initiative that will feature more programming focused on explaining the dynamics of severe weather.
The new Weather Channel app also provides access to an on-demand library of original programming and interactive features, including local forecasts, 24/7 weather alerts, real-time maps and radar. For a limited time, the network is offering new app subscribers a seven-day free trial.
The Weather Channel Connected TV app is currently available on Amazon Fire TV and Android TV, and will soon be available on Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Vizio, and Xfinity Flex.