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NBC Adds Weather Plus Affils

Four new broadcast station groups plan to launch a version of NBC's Weather Plus.

The 24-7 weather channel airs on station's digital broadcast channel and is a joint effort between the network and its affiliates. Sunbeam Television, Liberty Corporation, Sunbelt Communications and Bonneville International said Wednesday that they will launch Weather Plus channels, bringing Weather Plus' reach to 67% of U.S. households, though that number will be more meaningful when more households have digital TVs.

The announcement comes as NBC is holding a one-day meeting with its affiliates in New York. On the agenda are meetings with GE Vice Chairman/ NBC Universal CEO Bob Wright and a session on future businesses with NBCU EVP Brandon Burgess, NBC Station Group President Jay Ireland and Hearst-Argyle EVP Terry Mackin, head of the NBC affiliate board. NBC Universal Television President Jeff Zucker, NBC News chief Neal Shapiro and NBC Entertainment head Kevin Reilly will also hold sessions for affiliates.

It was at last year's affiliate meeting that NBC unveiled Weather Plus. The network's flagship station WNBC launched the first version last November. With the latest agreements, 50 stations are now committed to the weather channel and about 20 have already launched it.