Bloomberg reports that ratings are down 20% over three years, and with the sort of programming they continue with, such as this lame “forecast from 2050” with Sam Champion and go-to storm chaser guy Jim Cantore, where in a CGI based forecast, he laments rising sea levels while standing in fake water.
DirecTV dropped the Weather Channel for about three months earlier this year after failing to come to an agreement about how much the network should be paid in affiliate fees. The Weather Channel agreed to cut back on its reality programming to include more local weather updates when DirecTV agreed to a new deal in April.
DirecTV, with 20 million subscribers, had pushed for a reduction of more than 20 percent in the fees it pays the Weather Channel, which had asked for an increase of 1 cent a month per subscriber.
The Weather Channel, based in Atlanta, averaged 13 cents a month per subscriber in 2013 and in 2012, according to estimates from researcher SNL Kagan. It averaged 214,000 daily viewers in 2013, down from 264,000 in 2011, according to data provided by Nielsen.
Maybe “Fat guys in the Woods” (yes that is really a TWC show) will save them:
Bloomberg also mentions that “the companies that own The Weather Channel—including Bain Capital, Blackstone, and NBC Universal—appear to be in the beginning stages of talks to sell the Atlanta-based weather behemoth”.
The billion dollar question is: who would buy it? NBCUniversal bought TWC in 2008 for about $3.5 billion. They’d be lucky to get half of that today in a sale, and any potential buyer would be even luckier to see any profit from it after the sale. Maybe Al Jazerra?