Philo adds AccuWeather Channel as storms sweep through U.S.

A screen capture of the AccuWeather Channel as it appeared during a broadcast on January 26, 2021. (Graphic by The Desk)

Wallet-friendly streaming TV service Philo added the AccuWeather Channel on Tuesday on the same week a series of strong winter storms are forecast to sweep through the United States.

The channel is the first all-weather network added to Philo since it launched several years ago and continues the streaming service’s trend of adding general entertainment, knowledge and lifestyle channels that come without a cable-like price tag.

Still a fledgling network, the AccuWeather Channel has started to see more adoption by cable, satellite and streaming services because it costs less to distribute to subscribers compared to the Weather Channel, the gold standard weather network owned by Allen Media Group. The AccuWeather Channel’s programming mainly consists of weather forecasts, bulletins and localized breaking news updates, and it’s developing an audience as the Weather Channel continues to push more reality-based programming on its viewers.

The addition of the AccuWeather Channel brings Philo’s total network offerings to 64, a spokesperson said in a news release on Tuesday. The price of the service remains at $20 a month for those channels as well as an unlimited 30-day cloud DVR; subscribers can tack on premium movie networks Starz and Epix for additional fees.

“We are thrilled to be joining the Philo family of top TV streaming programming,” Sara Katt, an executive in charge of the AccuWeather Channel, said in a statement. “We are deeply committed to delivering the most accurate and reliable local and breaking weather coverage to help everyone in every community plan their lives and get more from their day, and we look forward to now being able to bring this breadth of weather forecasts, news and insights to Philo’s audience as well.”

The channel could help Philo grow beyond its base of 800,000 subscribers as it brings more timely, relevant live content to the platform. In recent weeks, Philo has started marketing more of its news offerings from Cheddar and Newsy in the wake of several national breaking news stories, the message being clear that Philo can be a destination for viewers who want fact-based, rolling news updates without partisan opinion programming.

The AccuWeather Channel continues this trend, and its timing on Philo could not have been better scheduled: On Monday, a tornado ripped through portions of Alabama, and winter storms are expected to impact much of the western portion of the United States over the coming days. (A spokesperson for Philo later confirmed the timing of AccuWeather Channel’s launch on the service was coincidental.) Meteorologists with the AccuWeather Channel are covering those events and others backed by a team of scientists and on-air talent who provide up-to-the-minute coverage on developing weather events.

“The inclement winter season often means weather news needs to be timely and accurate,” Michael Keyserling, an executive in charge of content acquisitions at Philo, said on Tuesday. “Philo is focused on bringing new and differentiated content to our service while maintaining value for our subscribers”

Philo is available on all of the leading streaming TV platforms — Apple TV, Android TV (Google TV), Amazon Fire TV and Roku — and has support for Google’s Chromecast TV devices. Apps are also available for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, and content can be accessed in traditional web browsers by going to Philo.com.

The service offers a free, 7-day trial for those who want to test Philo before plunking down $20 a month. Extended trials are available with certain purchases at Best Buy‘s online and physical stores.

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