NBC Universal will shut down Weather Plus, the digital joint venture between NBC and its station affiliates. The news should come as no surprise; in July, NBCU, in partnership with The Blackstone Group purchased The Weather Channel, leaving the media conglomerate with two competing brands.
According to NBC, the decision to end Weather Plus was made by NBC and its Television Affiliates Board. On Tuesday (Oct. 7), NBC informed the Weather Plus staff it would shut down operations at a later, unspecified date.
“NBC Universal’s purchase of The Weather Channel, coupled with the ongoing financial and distribution challenges facing Weather Plus, made the venture no longer feasible,” NBC said in a statement.
When it launched four years ago, NBC Weather Plus, the first all-digital broadcast network, was considered an innovative way for a network and its affiliates to monetize the digital spectrum. Since then, local cable systems and other local TV stations mounted challenges to Weather Plus, making it difficult for both NBCU and its affiliates to turn a profit.
About 80 affiliates and NBC’s 10 owned-and-operated stations, participated in NBC Weather Plus.