AccuWeather Launching Cable/Web Hybrid

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AccuWeather is pitching a cable/IPTV channel that will deliver interactive forecasts in real time.

Rather than a linear channel, the service will be more like a Web site on the TV screen, and with TV-like video rather than buffered, streamed content.

Utilizing the ICTV ActiVideo Distribution technology, the digital channel will deliver Web-driven content and VOD as MPEG Video to TV's with digital set-tops.

For example, viewers can use their remote controls to navigate the channel like a Web site, clicking on ads or accessing localized weathercasts.

AccuWeather already provides "turnkey" (end-to-end) 24/7 digital weather channels to stations in 14 markets, according to Lee Rainey, VP, marketing, and has contracts with 40 more stations. Those channels, many carried on cable, are linear, with opportunities for local stations to drop in local anchors or other programming--most do, he says--all within an "L-bar" graphics wrap-around.The company also provides weather info to numerous stations and other media outlets, and later this year is rolling out a turn-key service for mobile media applications.

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