|Launched||October 27, 2011|
|Owned by||WeatherNation, Inc.|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV; widescreen)
|Slogan||(Real) Weather. Pure and Simple.|
|Headquarters||Greenwood Village, Colorado|
|Replaced||The Weather Cast|
|Available on television stations in some markets via digital subchannels||See list of affiliates|
|OTA affiliates available on certain U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability
(availablity is at the discretion of the station and provider)
|National feed available on select U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
|WeatherNationTV.com LIVE||Live stream|
|Digital Media Receiver||Roku|
|Xbox 360||Xbox 360 Applications|
|Available as an app on certain Smart TV models||See manufacturer for details|
WeatherNation TV (branded on-air as simply WeatherNation) is an American broadcast, digital streaming, cable and satellite television network that is owned by WeatherNation, Inc. The network broadcasts weather forecasts and weather-related news, including periodic coverage of severe and tropical weather events, as well as local weather segments. The network's studio facilities, along with its headquarters and master control facilities are located in the Denver suburb of Greenwood Village, Colorado.
WeatherNation, Inc. was founded in July 2009 as a syndication service for local television stations, cable and satellite providers. In May 2010, the company launched The Weather Cast, a channel developed for Dish Network with the intent to replace The Weather Channel on the satellite provider; Dish, which had been negotiating with the channel on a new carriage agreement, had planned to drop The Weather Channel as a result of a dispute over a planned increase in retransmission consent payments and the provider's dissatisfaction with the channel's decreased reliance on weather forecasts in favor of reality, documentary and other entertainment programming. The Weather Cast existed for four days, ceasing operations on May 24, 2010, when The Weather Channel reached a multi-year agreement with Dish Network.
On March 30, 2011, WeatherNation, Inc. announced that it would launch a new national weather channel, to be named WeatherNation TV, beginning in the second quarter of 2011, with cable television providers that were members of the National Cable Television Cooperative being the first to offer the new network. WeatherNation TV launched on May 27, 2011, and was rolled out to all of the participating systems by the last week of July 2011.
WeatherNation would gain its first broadcast television outlet by October 2011, WHDT in Stuart, Florida (serving the West Palm Beach television market), with translators in Naples and Miami, Florida, and Boston, Massachusetts. WIYC in Montgomery, Alabama also started carrying WeatherNation that same month. Further expansion of its broadcast affiliate body continued in January 2012, when WeatherNation added affiliates in Minneapolis, Minnesota (KARE-TV); Little Rock, Arkansas (KMYA-DT); Fort Smith, Arkansas (KFDF-CA); and Springfield, Missouri (KFFS-CA).
Many of WeatherNation TV's initial over-the-air affiliates were low-power and full-power stations that were not affiliated with one of the major broadcast television networks. However from 2012 to 2014, the network announced piecemeal agreements with two major broadcasting groups to carry WeatherNation on the subchannels of network-affiliated stations (including one which expanded upon an existing affiliation agreement with such a station). During 2013 and 2014, the network expanded its distribution agreement with the Gannett Company, owner of Minneapolis affiliate KARE-TV, to add the network on the subchannels of its stations in cities such as Atlanta (WXIA-TV), Denver (KUSA) and Washington, D.C. (WUSA). On October 27, 2014, WeatherNation TV signed an affiliation agreement with the Sinclair Broadcast Group to carry its programming on a subchannel of the company's flagship station, WBFF in Baltimore. Beginning in November 2014, additional Sinclair owned or managed stations signed affiliation agreements with the network in markets such as Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Mobile, Alabama and Bakersfield, California.
WeatherNation TV provides national, regional and local weather forecast segments as well as specialty forecasts and other features. National segments are presented by on-camera meteorologists employed with the network (the majority of whom have had prior broadcasting experience, with a few having served as chief meteorologists at stations where they were previously employed at some point during their career). Beginning at the top of each hour in ten-minute intervals, WeatherNation often provides analysis outlining significant weather conditions around the United States. These are usually followed by segments providing forecasts, meteorological analysis and weather alerts (with the exception of shorter-term alerts such as severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings) – if issued by the Storm Prediction Center or by National Weather Service forecast offices – for twelve designated U.S. regions (California and Nevada; Alaska; Hawaii; the Northeast; the Pacific Northwest; the South; the Southeast; the High Plains; the Central Plains; the Great Lakes; the Central East and the Four Corners).
Additional segments also air at certain times – in place of regional or national forecast segments – featuring specialized forecasts (such as business, holiday or leisure travel forecasts; and game-day forecasts for NFL, college football and Major League Baseball games), photos submitted by viewers via Facebook and Twitter (featured as part of two segments aired on weekends called "Week in Pictures" and "Views from Above," as well as within certain forecast segments), and additional weather analysis through interviews with on-air staff members from WeatherNation's broadcast affiliates or meteorologists from National Weather Service forecast offices. National forecast segments presented by the network regularly feature three-day and seven-day extended forecasts for individual U.S. cities, as well as skycam views provided from various internet sources and state departments of transportation.
Unlike The Weather Channel and similar to The Local AccuWeather Channel, national segments on WeatherNation TV are a mix of live and pre-recorded segments, which are recycled and shuffled in their order each succeeding half-hour and updated every two to four hours; this fact has been the source of viewer criticism since shortly after DirecTV first began carrying the network, as WeatherNation continued to air its regular forecast segments instead of running wall-to-wall coverage – offering only periodic updates each hour – during ongoing severe weather and winter storm events.
In order for its broadcast affiliates to comply with the Federal Communications Commission's Children's Television Act (which incorporates a rule requiring stations to carry additional educational programming content on their subchannels regardless of their programming format), WeatherNation provides a three-hour block of children's programs originally distributed for syndication from Telco Productions, a production company founded by television host/producer Alex Paen, on Sunday mornings/early-afternoons (presently made up of Animal Rescue, Dog Tales, Missing and Think Big, and former PBS series distributed by the company for commercial syndication, DragonflyTV and Biz Kid$). During the E/I block, weather segments are shown in a five-minute window between programs.
WeatherNation TV allocates twelve minutes of programming time per hour, except when E/I programming is being aired, for affiliates to provide localized forecasts for their viewing area; the two-minute long segments run seven times an hour at times ending in "5" (for example, 6:55 p.m. or 9:35 a.m.), and are usually shown after national segments carried by the network.
Local forecasts aired on WeatherNation's broadcast outlets are presented in either of two formats; by default, affiliates can show graphical forecasts – using network-provided graphics that are customized for a specific region (similar in format to The Weather Channel's Local on the 8s) – that are generated by a computer unit installed at the station's master control, which inserts data over WeatherNation's national feed. The localized segments provide current weather observations (with the exception of the current air temperature), and high and low temperatures observed since 12:00 a.m. local time for a given city; at-a-glance forecasts for the current daypart and the day after; seven-day forecasts; almanacs (showing temperature averages and extremes for the current date, and recorded precipitation for the past 24 hours, historical maximum precipitation for the date, and month-to-date and departure from average precipitation in the area); and computer models showing forecasted sky conditions and temperatures in the surrounding metropolitan area and region for the succeeding 24- to 36-hour period.
Many affiliates provide pre-recorded segments conducted by the affiliate's weather staff, which are updated two to four times a day, mainly detailing forecasted weather conditions for the area. Some affiliates that maintain a news department carry the default graphic-only segment if a meteorologist or weather anchor employed with the station is not available (usually if it does not regularly produce a newscast during a given daypart, such as weekend mornings, for its main channel) to conduct the recorded forecasts. The national forecast segment that airs in place of the localized segments on the national feed includes computer model forecasts for the next 48 hours, active weather alerts, current temperatures and composite satellite/radar loops for the contiguous United States. A three-hour radar loop is also shown immediately between segments during each national weather block. Music accompanying the graphical forecast segments and full-screen radar loop comes from various commercial sources.
WeatherNation also displays continuous weather information on a ticker placed at the lower third of the screen, which is visible even during commercial breaks and educational programming supplied by the network. The affiliate's logo bug is perpetually placed on the far left side for identification purposes; while the current time, and city and segment information appear adjacently on the upper fringe. The bottom left two-thirds of the ticker display current weather conditions (sky condition, actual and apparent temperature, and wind speed/direction), and 24-hour and three-day forecasts (showing the forecasted sky conditions and temperatures) for the affiliate's city of service and other cities within the viewing area or state; a radar loop is displayed in a self-contained box on the right side. The banner also employs a severe weather mode during inclement weather, showing active weather alerts for the station's viewing area on a separate red ticker above the forecast ticker. The national feed displays the network's logo on the affiliate bug placement, and current weather observations and forecasts for 50 major U.S. cities on the remainder of the left two-thirds of the ticker instead, with weather alerts throughout the United States being shown above where in effect.
As of January 2015, WeatherNation TV has current or pending affiliation agreements with 35 television stations in 33 media markets encompassing 21 states and the District of Columbia. WeatherNation is carried primarily on digital subchannels of broadcast television stations, and is carried on the digital tiers of select cable providers at the discretion of a local affiliate of the network in most markets. Most of its affiliates are full-power television stations, however WeatherNation is carried on low-power stations – mainly through translators of full-power stations that carry the network – in some areas. The national feed's carriage on certain cable and satellite providers is WeatherNation's sole method of distribution in markets where an over-the-air affiliate is not present.
WeatherNation affiliates, specifically those that operate a news department, have the option of breaking away from the network's programming to carry regularly scheduled programming – particularly, programs carried by the station's primary network affiliation – on the subchannel in order to accommodate breaking news or severe weather coverage, or telecasts of locally produced or syndicated sports events on the station's primary feed (depending on WeatherNation's subchannel placement and the station's carriage of additional subchannel services, especially those affiliated with a major network such as The CW or MyNetworkTV).
Although WeatherNation TV maintains a high-definition feed, its broadcast affiliates carry the network in 480i standard-definition in its default 16:9 widescreen format in order to preserve bandwidth to transmit the station's primary channel in high-definition; the HD feed is generally exclusive to certain pay television providers at their preference.
WeatherNation TV's national feed began to be carried on satellite provider DirecTV on channel 361 on December 16, 2013; the provider reached a temporary carriage agreement with the network while it was renegotiating its contract with The Weather Channel (which was carried on channel 362). After DirecTV dropped The Weather Channel on January 14, 2014 due to the reasons behind Dish Network's planned removal of the channel in May 2010, the provider replaced The Weather Channel on channel 362 with WeatherNation, which lasted until The Weather Channel and DirecTV struck a new carriage agreement on April 8, 2014 that restored TWC on channel 362; however, WeatherNation TV continues to be carried on channel 361 as a result of a long-term carriage agreement it signed with DirecTV on April 2, one week prior to The Weather Channel agreement.
Internet-capable devices and digital media receivers
WeatherNation's programming is streamed live on the network's website, on its Android and Apple mobile apps as well as apps on select Samsung, LG and Sony Smart TVs and Blu-ray players. WeatherNation launched a channel on the Roku streaming player on September 13, 2013, and on Xbox 360 on October 7, 2014; the channels provide WeatherNation's live national feed, on-demand video, and local current weather conditions and forecasts.
- The Weather Channel – a cable and satellite network launched in 1982 as the first nationally distributed weather television channel; owned by NBCUniversal, Bain Capital and Blackstone Group, it features a mix of weather forecasts and documentary programming.
- Weatherscan – a digital cable and satellite network spun off from The Weather Channel, specializing in localized weather content.
- The Weather Cast – a predecessor of WeatherNation TV that briefly existed in May 2010 on Dish Network.
- The AccuWeather Channel – a similarly formatted competing digital broadcast network owned by AccuWeather.
- NBC Weather Plus – a similarly formatted digital broadcast network owned by NBCUniversal that operated from 2004 to 2008.
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