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Weather Channel Reaches TV Everywhere Mass

The Weather Channel said authenticated viewing of the channel on computers and mobile devices -- via weather.com -- is now available to a majority of pay-TV customers following the additions of big distributors including DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, Dish Network and Cox Communications. The programmer said it waited until reaching an audience critical mass before announcing the availability of live streaming of the channel via the Live TV section of the web site (pictured). Other TVE affiliates are: AT&T U-verse, Cable ONE, Cablevision Systems, CenturyLink, Grande Communications, Suddenlink and WideOpenWest.

Big distributors missing from that list include Comcast, the biggest U.S. cable provider, and Charter Communications, which is in the process of buying Time Warner Cable and Bright House. Comcast, through NBCUniversal, is a part owner of The Weather Co., and The Weather Channel programming is available on Comcast's own Xfinity TV Go authenticated app -- but Comcast customers can't watch the live stream by authenticating at weather.com. The Weather Co.'s owners also include The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. The Weather Channel was dropped this past March from Verizon FiOS TV and its mobile app.  

The programmer, in a release touting the TVE gains, emphasized it was extending its reach including during severe weather. “Streaming the network live will allow our viewers to get critical, even potentially life-saving information anywhere they are, and perhaps most importantly, even if their power goes out,” Dave Shull, president of The Weather Channel Television Group, said in the release. “Millions of people tune to us each day not just for their local forecasts, but for the most comprehensive coverage of severe weather and for the best explanations of the science behind the weather.”

Suddenlink and other authentication affiliates on the list signed distribution renewals with The Weather Channel in recent months, including Time Warner Cable (which shares programming purchases with Bright House Networks) and Cox. And when The Weather Channel signed a renewal agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative, the pact included TV-everywhere rights that small to mid-size cable providers could sign up for.