Saturday, October 23, 2021

FOX Weather Streaming Service Goes Live Monday

FOX Weather, FOX News Media’s 24/7 ad-supported streaming weather service will launch on Monday, announced its president, Sharri Berg. The new service marks FOX News Media’s eighth platform under the leadership of CEO Suzanne Scott as its original linear network FOX News Channel celebrates its 25th anniversary this month. 

FOX Weather is a free service that will be available at and through the FOX Weather app for iOS and Android. FOX Weather will also be available on internet-connected TVs via FOX NOW, the FOX News app, and Tubi.

Utilizing FOX News Channel’s expansive newsgathering units along with FOX Television Stations’ unrivaled team of 120 meteorologists, FOX Weather will offer users a comprehensive suite of weather products featuring local, regional, and national reporting, in addition to live programming. The platform will also showcase an innovative approach to forecasting, optimizing multiple radar systems, including an immersive, state of the art 3D radar to deliver the most informative coverage surrounding all weather patterns, from immediate to long-term.

Fox Weather will also aim to make the science of meteorology more relevant to people’s lives, reports Bloomberg. Users can get alerts for 42 kinds of weather. They can learn about funnel clouds or graupel, a type of soft hail. When planning upcoming life events, Berg said, they can track forecasts several months into the future using the same data that many companies rely on to predict what supplies to buy for the following year. 

“I think wedding planners are going to want to advertise on this,” Berg said.

By squaring off against a well-established incumbent like the Weather Channel, Murdoch’s new venture calls to mind some of the most audacious and successful gambits of his career, from challenging ABC, CBS and NBC with the advent of the Fox broadcast network in 1986 to taking on CNN with the launch of Fox News in 1996. 

Fox Weather is moving into a market dominated by long-time players like The Weather Channel and AccuWeather — both of whom have been busy building their own new products — as well as aggressive niche players, reports The Associated Press.

When Berg scrolls through weather apps, she said she sees many specialty services that concentrate on things like surf conditions or wind. Besides convenience and clarity, Berg said one of Fox’s chief selling points will be offering a single destination for people to get many things — local forecasts (with 3-D radar), severe weather warnings, weather-related news stories and a video stream that operates like a traditional TV network.

“It’s not so much reinventing the way you tell the weather story, it’s just improving upon it,” said Steve Baron, Fox Weather senior vice president for digital products and strategy.

Byron Allen, owner of The Weather Channel, sounded almost giddy at the prospect of another challenger.

“I’m just a kid from Detroit pinching myself, to be in competition with Rupert Murdoch, one of the greatest media moguls of all time,” Allen said. “That’s an honor for me.

“I would have been disappointed if he didn’t come into the weather space, because it’s a great space, and it’s an important space,” he said. “We certainly don’t mind the competition.”

The Weather Channel next year is introducing subscription-based streaming services so people who have abandoned cable will have access to their programming. It will also launch a Spanish-language streaming service.

Allen pointed to consumer surveys that rate The Weather Channel highly as a source of information. “They know we are reliable and trusted,” he said. “You don’t get that overnight. It is earned.”

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