Philadelphia -- The Weather Channel and Comcast Corp.
announced an affiliation agreement last week in which the network will provide a new
digital local-weather service to the MSO's digital subscribers.
TWC -- which issued a press release, but which said
officials were not available to answer questions about the agreement -- said Comcast plans
to add the local service to digital lineups in its seven major clusters. Comcast
executives did not return calls about the agreement.
The network, which is owned by Landmark Communications
Inc., supplies a 24-hour all-local radar product and a 24-hour all-local forecast service.
Systems can carry either one or both services. TWC's digital service is distributed by
Tele-Communications Inc.'s Headend in the Sky service.
Although TWC has a lock on analog distribution, appearing
in more than 95 percent of cable homes, it has a number of rivals in the field of
localized digital weather programming, including:
Weather Services International of Billerica, Mass.,
which has agreed to supply Time Warner Cable, and which already supplies PrimeStar Inc.,
as part of a regional-weather service venture with NBC Inc.;
AccuWeather Inc. of State College, Pa., which
provides its "Local Cable Weather" service to MediaOne Group Inc.'s system in
Cablevision Systems Corp., which carries its own MSG
Metro Traffic & Weather channel in the New York area.