The weather wars are heating up, as "AccuWeather, the Pennsylvania-based company that currently supplies forecasts to 175,000 paying clients and several hundred local TV stations around the country, announced plans to join the 24-hour weather market by launching its own TV network sometime in September," reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
The AccuWeather announcement comes just days after "DirecTV dropped The Weather Channel from its service, replacing it with a service called WeatherNation. The move left an estimated 20 million people without access to The Weather Channel and gave WeatherNation, a two-year-old upstart out of Colorado, a national audience almost overnight. WeatherNation currently airs the weather on three-hour taped loops and does not report live," Businessweek notes.
The story adds these comments from Barry Myers, chief executive officer of AccuWeather: “We’ve been planning for some time to do this, but it was clear that to keep silent about it, given the [dispute between DirecTV and The Weather Channel], wouldn’t make sense.”
The report adds: "AccuWeather’s new station will stick to straight, no-nonsense forecasts, fashioning itself as the brainy alternative to The Weather Channel, which in recent years has strayed into the reality market with shows such as ‘Storm Stories’ and ‘Lifeguard! Southern California.’
"Myers says he’s still in the process of negotiating deals with cable providers and doesn’t yet know how many of them will end up carrying AccuWeather’s network. But if the DirecTV dispute is any indication, AccuWeather may be poised to steal a good share of The Weather Channel’s market. If that happens, The Weather Channel’s 30-year monopoly on television may finally come to an end."