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The Weather Channel Expands Live Coverage After Sale

The channel was sold two weeks ago to comedian Byron Allen.

Starting today, The Weather Channel will expand its live coverage by up to 10 minutes an hour, a change long sought by viewers and even pay TV partners.

The move comes just two weeks after comedian and entrepreneur Byron Allen acquired The Weather Channel from Comcast, Blackstone Group and Bain Capital for approximately $300 million, according to Bloomberg News.

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It’s unknown if the new owner influenced the change in programming strategy. But the channel last night began notifying viewers who subscribe to its newsletter that the expansion of live coverage would begin today.

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“Many of you have told us that you want to see more of our trusted weather coverage and we’ve taken note,” the newsletter stated. “Starting tomorrow (April 3), we will be extending our live coverage by up to 10 minutes per hour, giving you a chance to dig even deeper into the weather affecting you each day.”

To create more time for live coverage, The Weather Channel said it would “collapse our Local On the 8s so that they run during our live segments. Where you use to see our traditional Local On the 8s segments, you will see the same weather information displayed on the right side and/or bottom of the screen.”

The Weather Channel’s Twitter page tweeted this morning that the Local On the 8s segments, which offer greater detail on the viewer’s local weather forecast, would still run in the old format several times a day. Previously, they always ran during breaks from the channel’s live coverage.

“A reimagined version (of Local On the 8s) will air during the other ‘traditional’ LO8 slots during live programming,” the channel wrote.

Critics of The Weather Channel have long said it devotes too much time to reality programming and other segments rather than concentrating on live updates. In 2014, DIRECTV even made an expansion of live broadcasts a condition of its new programming agreement with the channel.

While the channel did reduce its reality programming somewhat after that, many said TWC still relied too heavily on non-live shows and segments.

— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (1134 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

21 Comments on The Weather Channel Expands Live Coverage After Sale

  1. Edward Coates // April 3, 2018 at 9:43 am // Reply

    They need to focus on weather and not all the other programming. Weather Nation blows them away if you want to see weather informatiin.

  2. What about a new HD Weather scan

  3. Joseph Cavaliere // April 11, 2018 at 8:17 am // Reply

    I understand people wanting weather for east coast but I live in Arizona and rely on the weather on the 8 so because we can not get that in the morning I will stop watching

  4. John Finney // April 23, 2018 at 9:07 am // Reply

    I used the local on the eights a lot to get my weather. I will go to other sources for my weather now.

  5. Vic Mildew // April 25, 2018 at 8:10 am // Reply

    Loved Lo8 while here in Florida on holiday. Miss the voice over version and so have stopped watching Weather channel.

  6. I rely on the local on the 8 and miss it. I would listen to it while getting ready in the morning. Can’t lisyen to it when it’s running across the bottom of your screen. Very disappointed

  7. Please put local on the 8 ‘s back the way it was thank you ps I don’t like the way you are doing it now

  8. I have stopped watching the weather Channel because Local on the 8’s has been reduced to little more than a postage stamp sized precipitation map. There is no longer enough info for for the present and week ahead. Since local weather is no longer important to the weather Channel, I’m done tuning in.

  9. Kathy Barnes // May 1, 2018 at 10:26 pm // Reply

    Since Local on the 8’s is gone, I do not watch weather channel at all. Weather is local…

  10. I relied on local on the 8’s to get the day started. Perhaps every 15 minutes. Watching all the national news and 10 more minutes of Stephanie Abraham’s lame jokes is way too much for me.

  11. We always listened to The Weather Channel every morning getting ready for work. Now we listen to our local news channel instead so we can HEAR the weather forecast. We Miss the Local on the 8’s! PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!!

  12. I will not watch TWC until Local on the 8s comes back

  13. Please bring back Local on the 8’s. Talk about a STUPID decision. The weather channel is just that WEATHER REPORTS – I want to see LOCAL weather so I can plan my day, my week etc – it was timely and accurate. I depended on TWC – Why do people think change is needed – some things are good the way they are. Wow, I thought I was the only one who didn’t like Stephanie Abrams.

  14. Do you think DirecTV will allow the Weather Channel on ALL the Packages now, with a new owner.
    Don’t know anyone willing to pay an extra $30 $ 40 a month for the weather channel.
    A “SELECT Package” Customer.

  15. For the past 2 years I have been disappointed that Verizon FIOS switched from The Weather Channel to another weather provider. This week I am on vacation in Williamsburg VA and was looking forward to the ability to watch The Weather Channel! How disappointing!!! I really miss Local on the 8s!!! How can I plan my vacation week when the nearest “local” city is 100 miles away!!!??

  16. We live in southern MD where the weather changes rapidly. I would rely on Weather on the 8’s before I got out of bed…and throughout the day. In the morning, I can see some some small information at the very bottom of the TV, but would need to put on my glasses and stand directly in front of the TV. It’s just not practical. My husband and I have no reason to ever watch the Weather Channel again. All they do is try to dramatize any weather event regardless of the severity, or lack there of, over and over. Totally useless to our family anymore. Bring back Weather on the 8’s,

  17. I don’t like the new format and will stop watching TWC until local on the 8’s come back.

  18. I hate this. The only reason I ever look at WC is for local on the 8s. Totally worthless now.

  19. For decades I used to turn on weather channel every morning to catch Local on the 8s. I could listen to it while I was waking up. I often stayed for live reports, but only the local weather gets me to tune in. The new scroll across the botto and sides is a poor substitute. I can use an AP much more quickly AND get better info.

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