‘Storm Clouds Are Gathering Over The Weather Channel’

By Mark Joyella Comment

The Wall Street Journal reports Monday that The Weather Channel’s corporate parent, Weather Co., faces a “deteriorating” financial outlook. “Moody’s Investors Service on Friday downgraded the company’s debt, saying it isn’t perceived by cable and satellite companies as a ‘must have’ channel, and could therefore be dropped by more providers or face cuts in carriage fees.”

WSJ notes Weather Channel, as an independent channel, has far less power in negotiating with cable companies than, say, CNN’s Time Warner. “Media companies with bundles anchored by powerful channels—Walt Disney Co. with ESPN and Time Warner Inc. with TNT, for example—can negotiate in a way Weather Channel cannot. Moody’s said the environment makes it ‘challenging for stand-alone and smaller cable networks to maintain their subscriber base.'”