While The Weather Channel will always be known as ‘that channel where you can watch to see if the huge incoming hurricane is going to wreck your home,’ it is also trying to build a library of original content. At Digital Content Newfronts, the channel announced a new slate of web-only content, headlined by three series that will debut later in 2013.
The Weather Channel’s slate of original TV programming is entirely focused on, well, weather, but two of the three upcoming web series use that term very loosely. For example, the I Am Unstoppable will profile outdoor athletes who have had to overcome strife, poverty, amputation, and other trials. Another offering, Virus Hunters, profiles scientists who strive to contain deadly diseases. The third series is in fact weather related; it’s called Alive, and it will share stories from people who have survived hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
All in all, the Weather Company seems to be taking the History Channel approach to content production: if it’s cool, people will watch, even if it doesn’t have to do with the exact subject of the channel. “We’ve got killer content, and we are building what we think are killer multiplatform experiences,” said Weather Company VP Neil Katz.
The web seems like a good space for The Weather Company. When I tune to that TV channel, I am there for a very specific purpose: to learn about the weather. By expanding to the web, The Weather Company can experiment with premium original content while still giving us all the information we desire from them.