Just when you thought we had maxed out on streaming services, another option is jumping into the ring. In the fourth quarter of 2021, you’ll be able to subscribe to The Weather Channel Plus for $4.99/month.
Subscribers will get more than just The Weather Channel, however. The service will offer more than 50 news and entertainment streaming channels. It’s set to launch on all devices—including smartphones, tablets, smart televisions, gaming consoles, and web browsers.
Allen Media Group controls 23 local TV stations and 12 TV networks. The company also operates two ad-supported streaming services: Local Now and The Grio.
The big question is what channels will be included beyond The Weather Channel. Given its ultra-low price point, you shouldn’t count on sports channels. You also shouldn’t expect many marquee cable channels like CNN, TNT, A&E, or Discovery. The addition of those channels would push the price far higher.
The closest competitor might be Frndly TV, which offers a very limited channel lineup for $5.99/month. Such low-cost (or free) streamers often pad their offerings with channels like Buzzr (old game show reruns) or Nosey (tabloid talk show reruns). It’s likely that The Weather Channel Plus will also copy other Allen Media Group streamers like Local Now to pad its channel count with things like QVC or HSN.
This announcement further solidifies the streaming landscape into some loose price tiers. You have subscription prices in the mid-teens like Netflix and HBO Max, then you have the crowded sub-$10 crowd, including Disney+, Discovery+, and Amazon Prime Video, and there’s a raft of free options, including Pluto TV, Tubi, and the just-launched Sensical.
UBS predicts the average U.S. home will have around three streaming subscriptions by the end of the year. Will The Weather Channel Plus have enough firepower to compete in the $4.99 tier with ad-free Apple TV+ or ad-supported Peacock, Discovery+, or Paramount+?
The team behind The Weather Channel Plus projects 30 million subscribers in its first five years.