Weatherscan logo used since September 2005
|Launched||March 31, 1999
(as Weatherscan Local)
|Owned by||The Weather Company (TWCC Holdings: consortium owned by NBCUniversal (25%), The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital, exact Bain and Blackstone percentages unknown)|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||All Local, All The Time|
|Broadcast area||Selected areas nationwide|
|Formerly called||Weatherscan Local (1999–2003)|
|Sister channel(s)||The Weather Channel|
|Dish Network||Check local listings for channels|
|Available on certain U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
Weatherscan is an American digital cable and satellite television network that is owned by The Weather Company, itself owned by a consortium that is owned in turn by NBCUniversal and investment firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. A spinoff of The Weather Channel, Weatherscan features uninterrupted local weather information in graphical format on a continuous loop that is generated by an IntelliStar unit installed at the cable provider's headend; unlike The Weather Channel, Weatherscan does not feature on-air talent of any kind.
The channel launched on March 31, 1999 as Weatherscan Local. Originally, Weatherscan operated five collective services for local weather information: Weatherscan Local featured animated weather information with a complete local weather segment every two minutes; Weatherscan Radar featured a continuous Doppler radar loop, along with severe weather advisories when warranted; Weatherscan Plus – which debuted on April 30, 1999 – featured activity-specific forecasts for golf, skiing, boating, beachgoing, and business and leisure travel; Weatherscan Plus Traffic – which launched on May 31, 1999 – featured the same format as Weatherscan Plus with the inclusion of traffic information; Weatherscan Espanol, which launched with Weatherscan Plus Traffic, was a Spanish-language version of Weatherscan Plus allowing regional or international weather information.
The IntelliStar unit used by Weatherscan is configured differently from that used by The Weather Channel, featuring different graphics and additional forecast products, with information running on a continuous basis. Vocal Local, a pre-recorded narration function installed in the IntelliStar system – which utilizes a different narration track than that used on The Weather Channel's Local on the 8s forecast segments, featuring a female announcer – introduces several of the segments.
Weatherscan is available in many major markets around the United States, though its availability is not as widespread as that of parent network The Weather Channel. Many cable providers offer Weatherscan on their digital tiers, although a few providers carry Weatherscan on their basic tier (where The Weather Channel is also offered). In 2011, Dish Network became the first satellite provider to add Weatherscan.
Verizon FiOS has dropped Weatherscan (on channel 49), along with parent network The Weather Channel from its lineup at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time on March 10, 2015 after the two parties were unable to come to terms on a new carriage agreement. The service has been replaced by the local WeatherBug "widget" in some markets. No public announcement was made regarding this issue until over 12 hours after the discontinuation. Verizon said that its reason for dropping such services was because many customers turn to the internet and mobile apps for weather any time of day. This makes Weatherscan widely absent in one of the top 5 markets, especially where cable clusters don't carry this network.
Weatherscan displays variety of forecast products that show different types of weather information, some of which are not included on certain providers.
|Local Forecast||Used by all providers carrying the service, the segment provides local weather data, including the current weather observations, a local radar loop and a five-day forecast. This segment is mainly used for one city, but in some markets, the forecast segments incorporate multiple cities.|
|Local Radar||A one-minute continuous loop of Doppler radar imagery over the course of three hours.|
|Airport Conditions||This segment, which is available in most markets, shows flight arrival and departure delays, and weather conditions for up to four airports within the headend's service area; a list of delays for major airports throughout the United States is also included.|
|Travel Forecast||Available in most markets, this segment features forecast maps for the surrounding region and a three-day travel forecast for select U.S. cities.|
|International Forecast||A segment displaying the forecasted weather conditions and temperatures for select cities around the world.|
|Weather and Your Health||This segment features health-related forecasts for the area, including air quality, pollen and ultraviolet indexes; during the summer months, a slide illustrating safety information while in the sun is also displayed.|
|Ski and Snow
|This segment displays snowfall forecasts and current skiing conditions (including present snowpack and snow density information) for select ski resorts throughout the country.|
|This segment provides weather information for area golf courses and resorts within the area, as well as a golf index (gauging the forecast's impact on golfing activity) and a "tee time forecast" segment.|
|Carried on only a few headends, this segment contains information for lawn and gardening activities, and includes maps showing forecasted precipitation amounts and drought severity.|
|Boat and Beach
|Available only in coastal locations, this segment displays marine forecasts, tidal information and forecasted surfing conditions.|
Note: "Domestic IntelliStar" refers to STARs that output content for The Weather Channel.
|March 31, 1999||Weatherscan Local debuts, showing only a two-minute local forecast in a repetitive fashion. Only one song was used for each segment, a two-minute cut of "TSLF-01" (named by The Weather Channel as "Fair Weather") by Trammell Starks.|
|2001||Forecast data for Weatherscan Local's local forecasts begin to be sourced directly from The Weather Channel, instead of the National Weather Service. This change occurred on Weatherscan Local earlier than the WeatherStar systems used on TWC.|
|Early-mid August 2004||
|February 17, 2005||
|July 2005||A "traffic report" segment is added to Weatherscan-powered IntelliStar systems in major markets such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Atlanta, with local traffic conditions for certain metropolitan areas provided by Traffic Pulse.
|September 27, 2005||
|April 2006||HiRAD technology is introduced on some Weatherscan-powered IntelliStar systems.|
|December 12, 2006||
|March 11, 2010||The weather icons change once again to more realistic icons, switching to a variant of the 2006 design.|
|December 8, 2010||The traffic information segment is discontinued after The Weather Channel is unable to renew its contract with Traffic Pulse.|
When Weatherscan Local debuted in 1999, the channel maintained a national feed that was used for satellite and smaller cable providers that could not afford a secondary and more technologically advanced WeatherStar system to use for a local Weatherscan feed. The national feed, branded as simply Weatherscan, debuted in July 1998, and ran current temperatures and extended forecasts for select cities throughout the United States, as well as national and regional radar images. There is uncertainty as to whether or not the national version was discontinued; however, since Weatherscan Local simplified its name to "Weatherscan" in 2003, it is likely that the national feed was discontinued during or around that time.
A new Weatherscan feed launched in July 2011 for Dish Network subscribers, replacing the short-lived service The Weather Cast that had been founded as a replacement for The Weather Channel as a result of a May 2010 carriage dispute with the satellite provider; the Weatherscan feed provides regionalized information for cities within 125 miles of a given area, and is delivered in the same manner as the Weatherscan systems on cable providers. On March 10, 2015, WeatherScan and The Weather Channels contracts expired with Verizon Fios. WeatherScan was replaced with the WeatherBug widget, and The Weather Channel was replaced by the AccuWeather Network.
- The Weather Channel
- IntelliStar 2
- IntelliStar 2 Jr
- Weather Star XL
- Weather Star Jr
- Fixmer, Andy (January 14, 2014). "DirecTV Loses Weather Channel in Subscriber-Fee Dispute". Bloomberg.
- "NBC Universal, Bain Capital, and The Blackstone Group Sign Agreement to Acquire The Weather Channel Properties from Landmark Communications" (PDF) (Press release). Blackstone Group. July 6, 2008. Retrieved July 8, 2008.
- Stelter, Brian (October 22, 2012). "The Weather Channel's Parent Company is Renamed". The New York Times.
- Moss, Linda. "Weather Channel Goes Local", Multichannel News, March 8, 1999. Retrieved February 27, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
- "WeatherChannel fans unite!..." - [www.facebook.com/TheWeatherChannel The Weather Channel]'s official Facebook page (posted March 10, 2015)
- Verizon drops The Weather Channel, claiming internet killed the weatherman - Quartz (published March 10, 2015)
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