Friday, September 17, 2021

Fox Looking To Clear-Up Weather Coverage

Fox Corporation is hoping to replicate its success in the fields of general entertainment, news and sports with the launch of a new, ad-supported streaming service dedicated to weather coverage, reports Fierce Video.

Next month, the company's Fox News Media division will formally debut Fox Weather, a free streaming weather network complemented by a robust website and mobile apps that the company says will offer its audience unparalleled coverage of weather-related events.

The service is the latest ambitious push into the direct-to-consumer streaming space for Fox since its $440 million acquisition of ad-supported streaming service Tubi in 2020. But unlike Tubi, which launched six years earlier, Fox is building Fox Weather from the ground up.

It is, apparently, sparing no expense: According to recent job listings and information provided by a company spokesperson, Fox Weather will utilize a slate of high-tech weather radars, including an immersive mobile 3D radar that will offer viewers a new way to visualize current and emerging weather patterns. The service will also tap into more than 100,000 high-definition cameras located across the United States, as well as cameras, meteorologists and reporters at Fox-owned local stations and affiliates.

The idea of offering a television network dedicated to weather is not new: In the early 1980s, a meteorologist founded what became the Weather Channel, a network whose biggest mark on the industry was the development of satellite-driven computer technology that allowed millions of cable and satellite subscribers to get real-time, hyperlocal weather information in the pre-internet era.

Eventually, smartphone apps that did the same thing rendered the Weather Channel's local forecasts obsolete. In recent years, the Weather Channel has shifted its focus away from rolling weather forecasts toward knowledge-based programming with shows like "Storm Stories" and "Highway to Hell."

The move toward entertainment left some long-time Weather Channel loyalists disgruntled. In 2011, Performance One Media sought to lure those fans with a new network called WeatherNation, which promised comprehensive weather forecasts without the entertainment fluff. Four years later, weather data provider AccuWeather launched a national cable network with the same idea in mind.

Fox Weather wants to exist somewhere in the middle by offering fact-based weather information delivered by meteorologists and other scientists with the polish and extravagance that has come to define the Fox brand in other areas.

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