Comcast Writes Down Value of Weather Channel by $250 Million

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Oct 25, 2004
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But they also drove in a new audience, one far more likely to stay on in the Internet era 10 years from now, than just weather programming.
Like who, Rob? (who is the "new" audience that they "drove in"?) and what is the wx. channel doing differently that is so attractive to this new set of eyeballs?
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
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TWC isn't live when it's running those long form entertainment shows, and there are times like during the overnights, those hours get played like the greatest hits on radio. You couldn't get a live update if lives depended on it.
Correct. WN does that 24/7. At least during the day, especially during outbreaks, TWC is live. WN never is.

Like who, Rob? (who is the "new" audience that they "drove in"?) and what is the wx. channel doing differently that is so attractive to this new set of eyeballs?
Since their ratings are quite good during times of their reality shows, I'd say their new audience is the same audience that likes those sorts of shows which are on the increase in every major network. Ma and pa really don't care about the 830pm conditions in Kalkaska Michigan but they do like to see two men walking in the woods apparently.

It's all down to business sense. Show just weather 24/7 and close the doors - or provide content people will repeatedly tune in for and make the money it takes to keep mets on staff and provide sevwx coverage for the big events. Seeing people say that TWC is missing the boat by not doing weather is simply misunderstanding the business cycle.
 
Apr 4, 2006
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Business models do not concern me, staying on mission and maintaining focus does. Therein lies the problem with TWC, it has lost focus from its original core mission, which is what brought it to prominence in the first place. TWC's focus on profit has ruined it for many. WN may be recorded, but it at least is current and it stays on mission. NOAA Weather Radio, albeit an automated government service, at least stays on its focus. And, do not tell me how no one listens to NWR, as it is a proven life saver for late night emergencies when TWC's "business model" wouldn't let them even think about going live.
 
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rdale

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Mar 1, 2004
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If you aren't responsible for keeping TWC in business - it's okay that the model doesn't concern you :) History Channel used to be ALL history. It's not anymore because nobody watched. Their options - go out of business, or change the model. If TWC stayed "true to their mission"(?) they would be out of business or throwing up the WN stuff.

I'm not sure what NWR has to do with it - surveys show that people don't use it and the percentages continue to drop with apps & WEA in place.
 

John Farley

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Apr 1, 2004
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Maybe what you say is true, Rob, but I used to watch both TWC and the History Channel more in the past than now with the junk they put on. And I know quite a few others who feel the same way. But maybe they have attracted other viewers for those they have lost. However, the numbers in the news story that brought about this thread would suggest they were doing better in the past with the old model. Who knows, maybe all the reasonably intelligent people are on the internet now so the only ones watching TV are the ones that want the stupid stuff. But for whatever reason, nearly all the formerly-good cable channels have gotten away from what they were originally about and have fewer viewers now than they did then.
 

Bill Hark

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Jan 13, 2004
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In the last couple of years, I have been impressed with The Weather Channel's coverage during severe weather outbreaks. They show radar loops and satellite images along with detailed explanations. They even discuss some of the different model outputs and how they relate to the forecast. I have seen coverage when I have been sitting at home and DVR'd coverage while out chasing. This is a significant improvement over TWC from several years ago and earlier. Unfortunately, one can't sustain a channel on infrequent severe weather. Also, for the general local forecast, it is much easier and quicker to look online. The internet is their main competitor. Thus the switch to reality shows many of which have dubious relationship to the weather. I don't mind the weather related shows as long as they don't interrupt severe weather coverage. I also have a vested interest as I've made some money selling video. The more outlets for video sales, the better for storm chasers.

Bill Hark
 
Apr 19, 2004
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downtoground.com
Business models do not concern me, staying on mission and maintaining focus does. Therein lies the problem with TWC, it has lost focus from its original core mission, which is what brought it to prominence in the first place. TWC's focus on profit has ruined it for many. WN may be recorded, but it at least is current and it stays on mission. NOAA Weather Radio, albeit an automated government service, at least stays on its focus. And, do not tell me how no one listens to NWR, as it is a proven life saver for late night emergencies when TWC's "business model" wouldn't let them even think about going live.
TWC was always a "for profit" venture. It was never a public utility. It came to prominence long before the internet, when "real-time-ish" weather was only available to the masses for 5 mins in the morning, noon or evening TV news. When it was launched it made sense and was quite popular. Real-time weather anytime = $$$. It actually didn't make a lot of money, but it was a huge value in cable bundling and "tier up-sell". Great idea at the time. And now that business model is obsolete. Long gone.

Today Real-time weather is a commodity. Less than a commodity actually. It's on your phone's welcome screen, your alarm clock, your desktop, your car's dashboard, your smart-watch, if it's not on the screen you are looking at it's just a click or two away. TWC's original model, it's "core mission" (it never had any other mission than making bank for it's investors), that opportunity is long gone. Smarter people than you or I are working hard to keep it profitable, and to keep it's brand alive....

Ladies and Gentlemen, place your bets.