The Weather Channel is to offer advertisers the opportunity to
localise their national TV campaigns when buying airtime on the channel
from the first quarter of 1998.
The service will only be available in homes receiving the channel by
cable; households that receive it via satellite will not be
The service will use technology installed at cable head-ends from where
each cable operator manages and controls the stations transmitted on its
The Weather Channel has already installed proprietary ’black boxes’ at
the head-end of each cable operator carrying the station. This allows
local operators to carry local weather reports relevant to their
particular franchise area, in addition to the national forecasting
The technology allows the Weather Channel’s national service to be
overlayed with tailored graphics detailing local weather conditions. The
station runs local reports every ten minutes.
’We will shortly be offering national advertisers the ability to enhance
their campaigns with the inclusion of local information such as the
names and numbers of local branches or local dealerships,’ Patrick
Scott, the Weather Channel’s managing director, said.
Animated graphics for the local advertiser service, which is available
on the Weather Channel in the US, ’are not far off’, he added.
The technology behind the initiative is unique to the Weather Channel
and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. However, Scott
does not rule out the possibility of making it more widely available to
other cable channels in the longer term, in exchange for a fee.
The Weather Channel, whose animated ad campaign from Grey is on air at
the moment, is available in just over four million UK households.