The Weather Channel’s Weather Services International has acquired its chief competitor, Weather Central, in a a deal that changes the landscape of weather presentations for broadcasters. Both WSI and Weather Central provide professional weather services to a variety of industries, including the TV and broadcast businesses.
They both provide forecasts, software and graphics, among other products, to customers like local TV stations and cable channels, which use them to inform viewers about local and national weather. WSI and Weather Central are by far the two biggest players in the field.
The acquisition is a wonky one, but it underscores the lengths Weather Channel is going to try and dominate the weather media market, a market that is used by essentially everyone in the U.S. If someone gets their forecast from an iPhone app, a website, a local TV station or a national cable channel, Weather Channel wants to be providing them with that data, either directly through something like Weather.com, or indirectly through WSI. Weather Channel acquired the popular independent weather company Weather Underground earlier this year.