Weather Channel, now owned by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, was dropped by Verizon Fios in March 2015. Weather Channel had been a staple of the cable TV bundle since its launch in 1982, but in recent years the channel has faced carriage losses as viewers turn to digital sources for instantaneous weather reports.
Weather Channel has also faced pressure on its distribution base as MVPDs look to assemble smaller channel bundles rather than the broad menu that has historically defined cable TV service. Verizon Fios like other MVPDs has struggled with subscriber defections. At the end of 2018 Fios counted about 4.5 million domestic subscribers.
“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,” said Erin McPherson, Verizon’s Head of Content Strategy, Acquisitions and Programming. “Our customers are increasingly impacted by severe weather, and The Weather Channel will be a welcomed addition for our viewers.”
Weather Channel was cut by Fios in favor of the rival AccuWeather Channel. Weather Channel was acquired by Entertainment Studios early last year. The new deal also includes carriage renewals for Entertainment Studios’ eight other TV channels, which include Comedy.TV, Pets.TV and Cars.TV.
Weather Channel will be back on Fios’ linear lineup as of June 24. It will be available via the Fios app later this fall.
“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,” Allen said.
(Pictured: Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore)