The Weather Channel and Verizon Fios have struck an agreement where Fios subscribers will once again be able to watch one of TV news’ most trusted brands.
TWC will re-join the Fios lineup starting next Monday, June 24 on channel 611, and via the Fios app later this fall; just in time for hurricane season here on the East Coast and the Southeastern U.S.! The network will be on air in top media markets including New York, Boston, Baltimore, and Washington D.C.
Verizon dropped TWC in March 2015, as the network had been facing carriage losses as viewers increasingly turn to digital sources for breaking weather news reports.
“We are happy to bring Fios TV customers another trusted resource for weather information with the addition of The Weather Channel to our Fios lineup,” Verizon head of content strategy, acquisitions and programming Erin McPherson said in a statement. “Our customers are increasingly impacted by severe weather, and The Weather Channel will be a welcomed addition for our viewers,” she added.
Verizon customers will also have access to Local Now, the network’s local news app delivering customers local weather, news, entertainment, sports, and restaurant recommendations – even down to the neighborhood level.
“For nine consecutive years, The Weather Channel has been voted ‘TV news brand of the year’ and for 37 years has provided vital information to protect and save lives 24/7,” added Entertainment Studios chairman/founder/CEO Byron Allen. “I am very proud to extend our partnership with Verizon by adding The Weather Channel to the Fios TV channel lineup, as well as the renewal of the portfolio of Entertainment Studios Television networks.”
Those TV channels include Comedy.TV, Pets.TV and Cars.TV.
Allen’s Entertainment Studios has made a number of notable mpves lately. It’s partnering with Sinclair to acquire 21 Fox Regional Sports Networks; it plans to launch The Weather Channel in Español in 2020; and the company recently named former Nexstar Media executive Tom O’Brien president of The Weather Channel this past February.
Allen’s Entertainment Studios outfit acquired The Weather Group from The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital, and Comcast/NBCUniversal in March 2018 for a reported $300 million.
In 2008, NBC Universal, along with private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, acquired The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications for $3.5 billion. In the following years, the channel restructured, cut staff, and added long-form programming.
In 2015, IBM acquired the digital assets of the business for $2 billion, including mobile and cloud-based web properties, weather.com, and WSI which provides forecasts to clients like local TV stations and government agencies. The TV channel would go its own way, with potential suitors looming.