Sky News Weather Channel
|Sky News Weather Channel|
|Launched||1 January 1999 (Austar)
December 2002 (Foxtel)
25 January 2013(relaunch; as Sky News Weather Channel)
|Owned by||Foxtel Networks
(Operated by Sky News Australia)
|Formerly called||Weather 21
The Weather Channel
|Optus TV||Channel 603|
Sky News Weather Channel is an Australian 24 hour cable and satellite channel which broadcasts weather news and information. Sky News Weather Channel is available on Foxtel, Austar and Optus Television.
Sky News Weather Channel started broadcasting on 1 January 1999 under the name "Weather 21": channel 21 on the Austar channel lineup. Weather 21 was set up by Cox Inall Communications and the meteorological firm The Weather Company and was owned by Austar. The programming was pitched to Austar's largely rural and regional audience. Initial presenters on the channel were Allan Humphries, Lyndal Davies, and meteorologist Mark Hardy, broadcasting live from 6am to 10pm daily, with the overnight programming consisting of an automated loop of forecasts, satellite, and radar, accompanied by music.
In early 2000, no longer located at 21, the name was changed to "The Weather Channel". As the hours of live presentation were extended, presenters Tracey Malmborg, Jaynie Seal, Rebecca LeTourneau and Garry Youngberry were added.
In 2003 Austar sold the channel to XYZ Networks and TWC appeared on the Foxtel network, morphing to better suit the now largely metropolitan audience. Foxtel's Digitals platform extended its distribution with an Open TV interactive weather application, Weather Active.
Major changes in 2004 included logo, graphics, programming lineup and a new version of Weather Active for Foxtel Digital.
In the middle of June 2008, the Weather Channel again had a major change with its graphics as its programming lineup grew.
Weather content on the channel is provided by Metra Information Limited and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Change of management and re-branding
In the wake of the 2012 merger of Foxtel and Austar, and the subsequent dissolution of XYZ Networks, it was announced that from 30 November 2012 management and operational responsibility for The Weather Channel would be assumed by Sky News Australia, with The Weather Channel to be re-launched as Sky News Weather in 2013. The rebrand took place on 25 January 2013.
On Foxtel and Austar digital services, an interactive weather service called "Weather Active" is available. It provides local weather information, such as current conditions, marine and surf reports, dam information, 28 day rain forecast, capital city forecast and 10-day forecasts for the user's postcode. It also provides a state radar, national satellite and national lightning tracker.
The Weather Channel launched a new website on 24 March 2010 (www.theweatherchannel.com.au). The new website features a 10 day forecast, part day and three-hourly forecasts (all as local as postcode level), breaking weather, weather photos sent in by viewers, information on the water crises, emergency contact numbers, weathercams and program information.
There is also a weekend weather email service. Emails are sent to members on Fridays and give the weekend forecast and information on new programs, special reports or a major current weather feature such as cyclones.
- Dick Whitaker - Chief Meteorologist
- Tom Saunders - Senior Meteorologist
- Ken Heatley
- Amy Greenbank
- Jaynie Seal
- "Media Research Asia.com - Sky News To Manage Weather Channel In Australia". Media Research Asia. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "The Weather Channel to rebrand as Sky News Weather TV Tonight". David Knox. 1 December 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Timeline Photos". Sky News Weather Channel. Facebook. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.