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Digital multicast weather channels


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About 10-12 years ago, digital multicast weather channels were quite popular (NBC's WeatherPlus, The Local AccuWeather Channel, and locally-run options). I'm curious whether any still exist. Is it safe to assume their popularity waned in the era of smartphones?

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There are still some TV stations that carry WeatherNation (Some carry the raw feed & others include local weather information.). I think it's pretty safe to say that their popularity has waned, not just due to smartphones, but also due to the internet & streaming (WeatherNation has their own online stream.)

One thing that I've read is that the first TV station to operate a 24/7 weather channel was ABC affiliate, KMIZ-TV, Ch. 17 in Columbia, MO, which launched in late 2003 (It was replaced with MeTV on January 9, 2012.).

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30 minutes ago, Route66Fan said:

There are still some TV stations that carry WeatherNation (Some carry the raw feed & others include local weather information.). I think it's pretty safe to say that their popularity has waned, not just due to smartphones, but also due to the internet & streaming (WeatherNation has their own online stream.)

One thing that I've read is that the first TV station to operate a 24/7 weather channel was ABC affiliate, KMIZ-TV, Ch. 17 in Columbia, MO, which launched in late 2003 (It was replaced with MeTV on January 9, 2012.).

 

I never understood the interest when I could just look up the weather on the AccuWeather app on my smart phone.

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My local CBS station, WSHM, used to have an automated weather look like the one seen on WFSB.  It was replace with Cozi TV in 2015, not that anyone complained. These classic TV reruns are likely drawing in more eyeballs than the weather loop ever did, especially since we don't have MeTV in our market.

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My ABC Station (WCPO) used to have a Weather Channel, but it's Court TV now. It was on 9.2. Unfortunately, I don't know the year when the channel got replaced.

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On 11/7/2020 at 5:45 AM, Route66Fan said:

The local 24/7 weather channels kinda predated the popular smartphones by about 4 to 5 years.

This basically summarizes their demise. The idea of having a "local Weather Channel" over broadcast television simply fell apart the moment anyone could use their phone to look up the weather. 

 

NBC giving up on Weather Plus right after they bought into the Weather Channel also said a lot about the longterm viability of these channels. I think that was the peak of these channels. It's been downhill ever sense, with most of them having been replaced by more traditional television channels. WeatherNation seems regulated to the types of -LD's and -CD's that have 13 other channels on them.

 

They weren't even that popular in their very narrow window of relevance. I seem to recall WTMJ's WeatherPlus subchannel just being a constant stream of promos for TV and radio with the occasional paid ad in there. If you were to figure out the cost of taping weather updates for them, they probably lost the station money. Not to mention the systems they ran on (WX+ and Local Accuweather Channel both ran on Scala InfoChannel hardware, which was an early Digital Signage controller) were costly and somewhat unreliable in this role.

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WBAY's is still going strong through four ownership changes, probably because it's on an in-house system (adapted from Young's long-dead software) that all the meteorologists know left-to-right how to fix, there's rural areas in the market where cell phones can be unreliable, and because they have four other subchannel networks they can run off the current multiplexer without much signal loss. It helps that they have a few steady advertisers who bulk-buy with their regular station ads and that the weather department has a sponsorship that comes with the DT2 weather station. But otherwise it's definitely a declining form which a good website/app with the same mapping can easily duplicate.

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Weathernation,Accuweather were to have 24/7 National channels but no providers other then S. Dish pick them up. Theirs also Weatherscwn and Sprectrum Weather Channel.

Edited by Asomrjsurf
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Yeah...it doesn't make sense to run a 24/7 weather subchannel if you can get the same info on your phone.

 

WPEC is the only affiliate in South Florida that still has a weather subchannel. That station is tough to get from here (Hi-VHF) in Miami

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