The Weather Channel continues an apparent quest to take over the world of weather. Less than 6 weeks after announcing its plans to acquire Weather Underground, Weather Services International (WSI) - a Weather Channel member company - has announced the acquisition of Madison, WI -based Weather Central.
Weather Central - which provides weather graphics and forecast information to TV stations, newspapers and websites - was widely viewed as WSI’s primary competition. Weather Central also serves customers in the energy, insurance and retail sectors
“The acquisition of Weather Central enables us to immediately expand the range of products we offer to each company’s business clients,” said Mark Gildersleeve, president of WSI.
With the additions of Weather Underground and Weather Central to The Weather Channel’s portfolio, its remaining competition in the web and TV weather services space has shrunk. Companies like AccuWeather and WeatherBug have significant businesses, but are frankly dwarfed by the The Weather Channel’s growing empire (from weather.com: “across all its platforms - television, online, desktop and mobile - The Weather Channel has a 76 percent share of the huge U.S. weather audience.”)
To editorialize a bit, I’m not sure the consolidation of this sector is a healthy thing for the diversity of available products and services and free enterprise.