Comedian buys @weatherchannel – will this be the end of The Weather Channel?

From the strange bedfellows department.

The Weather Channel, founded by my dear friends John Coleman and Joe D’Aleo, has seen a tumultuous series of ownership changes since it’s inception, and those ownership changes have usually taken it further and further away from it’s core mission as outlined in the recently released book:

Weather Channel Pioneers – Tales from those who made it happen

Now we hear this From Bloomberg:

Comedian Byron Allen Buys the Weather Channel for $300 Million

Comedian and producer Byron Allen acquired the Weather Channel TV network as he looks to expand his film and TV production company into a major media business.

Allen’s Entertainment Studios Inc. bought the network from Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and Comcast Corp., according to a statement Thursday. The price was approximately $300 million, according to a person familiar with the terms who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. That’s a fraction of what the larger company sold for a decade ago.

The deal includes the famous cable TV network, but not online assets such as the website Weather.com and related mobile apps, which were acquired by International Business Machines Corp. in January 2016. In an interview on a day in which rain and snow blanketed much of the U.S., Allen said he was attracted to the reach and familiarity of the brand.

“Snowstorms, rain, mudslides, our lives and our families’ safety depend on this info,” Allen said. “When a big storm happens, it’s the Super Bowl of weather. As many as 30 million people watch.

Allen’s company produces and syndicates TV shows and has released films, such as last year’s thriller “47 Meters Down.” It also owns Comedy.tv and Cars.tv, which are distributed online and through pay-TV providers.

Full story: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-22/funnyman-byron-allen-buys-the-weather-channel-for-300-million

The fact that Allen owns web properties “comedy.tv” and “cars.tv” but no satellite channels suggests to me that he might have designs more on the satellite channel itself than the weather content. Readers may recall when Al Gore sold his satellite channel, named Current TV (which carried a bunch of SJW and global warming agitprop features) for close to $500 million in January 2013. It was a bum steer as far as ratings and revenue goes, and he sold it to Al Jazeeera, which was looking for an “in” to the USA satellite TV market. Al Jazeera promptly gutted Current TV, and made it into their own news channel.

Consider the situation here with TWC today in that context.

TWC’s satellite channel was sold for 300 million dollars (“… a fraction of what the larger company sold for a decade ago.”), lower than that of Gore’s non-ratings grabber CurrentTV. There are two other weather channel’s on the satellite selections now: WeatherNation and AccuWeatherTV. This makes the weather on TV market saturated, and given some of the recent stupid attempts TWC made at ratings grabbings such as “Fat Guys in the Woods”, it seems TWC isn’t quite the moneymaking powerhouse it used to be. Then there’s the constant climate alarmism on TWC which has been alienating viewers (they want weather, not climate).

Is TWC even relevant anymore? After all, you can get more relevant weather on your cell-phone instantly than you can waiting for TWC’s “Local on the 8’s”.  You don’t even have to be in your living room.

This is why IBM bought the TWC digital online presence. They aren’t stupid.

While Allen is talking how important TWC during severe weather is, calling it “…the Super Bowl of weather. As many as 30 million people watch.” I suspect he has other designs on the channel.  The A.C. Nielsen numbers show that NONE of the three satellite TV weather channels are in the top 30, either by rankings or ratings.

But Comedy Central is, at number 24. Many other humor related channels are in the top 30. Nick at Night, Nickelodeon, Adult Swim, Nick Jr., etc.

I think we’ll see the end of The Weather Channel, and the satellite channel will turn into something more in line with Byron Allen’s interests. Given there are two other weather on TV channels to choose from, I doubt it’s demise will cause more than a ripple for the general public, especially since the “safety” argument, important 30-40 years ago when TWC was founded by Coleman and D’Aleo, is widely mitigated now by the cell phone.

Perhaps TWC has already gotten into comedy, as this recent gaffe shows:

Apparently it was a “tornado warning of unusual size”.

 

That said, John Coleman left me with a wonderful gift before he passed on, one that could give bring a pure meteorological driven TWC back into living rooms again. I’ll have more on that in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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37 thoughts on “Comedian buys @weatherchannel – will this be the end of The Weather Channel?

  1. Perhaps a voice of reason will revert the Weather Channel back to the true information channel it once was — not an arbiter of climate alarmism. But that may be be wishful thinking. I just hope Jeff Masters no longer has a hand in content. I once asked Jeff Masters how he could truthfully make (and believe) climate forecasts months and years in the future when the weather models aren’t accurate more than a week out. He replied that “long-range models tend to be more accurate”. I almost laughed in his face.

  2. I wish my local TV Stations would get that message about how cell phones make the interruption of prime time television an extremely annoying redundancy. I don’t need the local channel to tell me a thunderstorm is coming, especially when I an tucked comfortable in front of my TV. The people that need to be warned against being outside are, OUTSIDE!, and not watching TV. A tornado warning is one thing but they tell me 5 to 10 times a month that it is going to rain or snow in the middle of my favorite programs. I KNOW already Plus if I really cared I would stick around for news at 11. Oh and Beeps and logos and crawls are all 21st century capabilities that are irrelevant and unnecessary. They are toys for Station personnel to justify their existence. Just because technology enables you to do something doesn’t mean you should.

  3. I stopped watching as it became more about shows (Storm Stories) and the personalities, NOT THE WEATHER – Both bored me when all I want is weather. I truly miss the old format. I was never impressed with how BRAVE the in field meteorologists were, doing the very thing they LOVE to do. Looking forward to the announcement. The station truly forgot the face of it’s father.

  4. “When we are confronted for example by the building designed for the United Nations, the experts among us shake their heads sadly, draw a sheet over the corpse, and tiptoe quietly into the open air.” [C.N.Parkinson]
    Unfortunately, a fantastic book can have an effect similar to that of a fantastic building. Anthony, my condolences.

  5. I enjoy watching Highway Thru Hell on The Weather Channel.
    But that is the only thing I watch on that channel.
    I used to watch The Weather Channel long ago.
    But as they got dumber, I got smarter.

  6. I watch some of Allen’s Entertainment Studios programs. They are good quality. I see this as an opportunity for TWC to improve. He didn’t spend $300M to lose it.

  7. As many as 30 million people watch (The Weather Channel)“… per month. For about five minutes each time. And then change the channel when an ad comes on.
    Come on, what are the real numbers, or are those just as fudged as the Klimate Kult’s?

    • What he says does not only apply to the black population. I admire his intellect, none the less.
      I do, however see him as a victim/enabler of the structural racism he discusses.

    • Yes, that’s I’m sure why Joe Bastardi always says “Enjoy the weather, it’s the only weather you’ve got”.

  8. Did you hear the one about the human-caused global warming that explained the blizzard? Yes, unfortunately I did. Well did you hear the one about the drought and the flood caused by human-induced warming? don’t tell me.

  9. The Weather Channel died when NBC bought them.
    Since then, every time there is bad weather in Pennsylvania, I can be sure there will be programming about Alaska

  10. It was forecast to be rainy and windy. It is neither. I no longer care in the least about so-called “weather forecasts”. I’m using a dart board and expect to get much better results.

    • I was talking with my mother about weather when I was a kid in the 1950s. Forecasts were useless. We looked up when we went out; that was all there was to know.

    • Sheri,
      Are you using drunken chimpanzees to lob the darts?
      If so, better results are practically guaranteed to improve!
      [Out past three days . . . .]
      Auto

  11. The Weather Channel is one of several “Darwin” channels where really crazy people do really crazy things: Chasing tornadoes, driving long haul trucks over frozen lakes and highways, hunting sharks, giant snakes, alligators, and snapping turtles bare-foot, bungee jumping, face jumping, etc.

  12. My cable viewing habits run thus:
    1) Spend 20 minutes searching movies, just to find out in the first 5 minutes of the movie, it’s gonna suck.
    2) Play movies/series from “on demand” I know I like, but am getting tired of.
    3) Turn on CNN to see if it is as biased as I’ve heard (it is), then switch to Fox to watch talking heads talk about things that I (sometimes) know more about than they do.
    4) If there is a major weather event happening I’ll hit The Weather Channel, the weather geek that I am.
    # 4 went to #1 earlier this week, but didn’t hold my attention (I’ve seen way worse in Chicago).
    Long story short, I only watch The Weather Channel 2-3 times a year.

  13. If only they would bring back the hot weather babes, it might make TWC worthwhile. Being for equal rights, I would also welcome hunky guys for the women. Otherwise, TWC is about as useless to me as ESPN. By the way, I am 73 and grew up before PC.

  14. I find our local NWS folks do a good job.
    We are in the middle of a triangle: Spokane, Seattle, and Pendleton, OR. I use all three.
    Interestingly, we are closest to Seattle, but our regular link comes from Pendleton. Clicking on the radar link gives us a view from Seattle with instruments that can’t “see” over the Cascade Crest.
    By looking at info, especially “discussion” and the Hourly Weather Forecast, I get a decent 3 day outlook of what, where, and when. The forecast is for 7 days. Days 4 through 7 are increasing less useful.
    Climate models attempt (poorly) to do something else.
    If I want to know the climate in 2070 I bring up a copy of the Köppen-Geiger climate map:
    http://koeppen-geiger.vu-wien.ac.at/present.htm
    This one’s boundaries are, in some places a joke, but not too bad.
    We are a Dsa or Dsb climate:
    D = snow
    s = summer dry
    a = hot summer, b = warm summer

  15. Hey, I really like Fat Guys in the Woods.
    Though, admittedly I never understood why it was on the “weather” channel.

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