The Weather Channel adds livestream TV app, subscription option

Atlanta's Weather Channel is creating a separate app on TVs and a paid subscription model for folks who don't pay for cable.

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Atlanta's Weather Channel is creating a separate app on TVs and a paid subscription model for folks who don't pay for cable.

Tens of millions of people already use the Weather Channel app on their smartphones for quick checks on the temperature or incoming rain.

Unfortunately, they can’t just watch the Atlanta-based The Weather Channel network itself and absorb the insight of big-name meteorologists like Stephanie Abrams, Jim Cantore or Mike Bettes. Thanks to cable carriage rules, those telecasts can’t be simulcast on the app like that.

Instead, The Weather Channel has launched an app specifically for connected smart TVs. Subscribers who already have cable access can use that app as well, or pay a $2.99 a month fee.

It’s unclear how much demand there will be for such a stand-alone subscription given how accessible weather information is now for free. Fox launched its own direct-to-consumer video weather service Fox Weather a few months ago and it’s free with ads. Rival Accu-Weather also has a live-stream option.

“This is a huge step for The Weather Channel television network, as we expand access to our best-in-class weather news and entertainment content,” said Byron Allen, CEO of The Weather Channel parent company Allen Media Group, who purchased the company in 2018. “Our upgraded app allows subscribers to tailor their TV viewing experience to their location and needs. As many regions in the country prepare for the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, it was very important to launch this new app experience to ensure that our life-saving weather information is available to everyone, 24/7.”

Currently, the TV app is available on Amazon Fire TV and Android TV and will be coming soon to Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Vizio, and Xfinity Flex.