Local Weather from Satellite

One problem with satellite service is getting local programming. (EchoStar is an a major tussle with broadcasters and content producers for distributing “distant” network TV programming on its system.) Cable and over-the-air are great sources for local news including weather reports, but how can satellite services match that? Well, the Dish Network has found a way. In a deal with The Weather Channel, the service has developed a way to get local weather information on demand. Starting November 8th, an interactive feature on the News menu on the DishHOME channel. Based on the subscriber’s ZIP code, the system will choose which of thousands of cities is closest, and display that information.

Dish Network and The Weather Channel are also working on a system that will display local content during the channel’s “Local on the 8s” segments, which is expected to launch in a few months.

Localized information is important for consumers, and steps such as this could go a long way to help satellite services compete more effecitively with the ground-based competition.