Revedia Forecasts Success for The Weather Channel Television Network

 

Evolving media network modernizes revenue operations

Since its launch 40 years ago, The Weather Channel television network, as operated by a subsidiary of Allen Media Group, has become the top-rated and most widely distributed weather network in America. The Weather Channel television network is the leader in severe weather coverage, providing the most comprehensive analysis of any media outlet and serving as the nation’s only 24-hour source of national storm coverage.

The data driven approach of The Weather Channel television network is not limited to meteorology. Led by executive vice president and chief financial officer Bill Higgs, the finance and accounting team of The Weather Channel television network is constantly analyzing every facet of their operations in pursuit of opportunities to optimize.


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The challenge

In nearly two decades with The Weather Channel television network, CFO Bill Higgs has seen revenue operations
become increasingly complex.

In addition to managing over 700 nationwide cable television distribution partnerships, The Weather Channel
television network and Allen Media have launched a diverse mix of OTT offerings and expanded global reach. Among its most recent developments are a direct-to-consumer (DTC) subscription service, and Spanish language content for U.S., Latin America, and Caribbean Spanish-speaking audiences.

Bill didn’t react to these changes in business model of The Weather Channel television network; he prepared for them. With licensing agreements and revenue streams growing in number and complexity, he realized the potential for stressing existing resources and legacy software systems. “We knew we needed to reassess our vendors and retool the operation to gain the efficiencies we felt possible,” Bill says.

Bill and his team worked closely with Localization Technology and Broadcast Operations teams throughout the process. The first step was to assess the technologies, processes, and bottlenecks; and then identify opportunities for improvement.

Cross-functional stakeholders agreed that upgrading from the then current on-premise system to cloud-based automation software was the best way to achieve its business goals, provide enhanced cyber security, immediately improve efficiency, and build a foundation for future growth

Next, the teams prioritized three capabilities required of the solution of choice in order to fully optimize revenue operations.

  • Robust rate logic: The current system’s inability to handle complex suite rates was preventing revenue teams from working with the high degree of efficiency they knew they were capable of.
  • Sophisticated signal authorization and management: To successfully manage distributed local markets across its expansive national network, the Company sought centralized control of headend signals with real-time authorization and de-authorization.
  • Seamless migration: Implementation could not disrupt daily operations. The new solution would have to be proven capable of supporting the complex integrations with the existing ecosystem, including general ledger software and headend hardware, well ahead of deployment.

But software features were only part of the solution envisioned. Every team involved in the process wanted a vendor they could trust as a long-term strategic partner in navigating the future and inevitable industry disruption. Innovation, support, and responsiveness were non-negotiable.

With clear goals and all available options thoroughly evaluated, it was time to make the leap.

“We were looking for a partner, not just a vendor; a partner that would offer not only best-in-class software, but best-in-class customer service; and a partner that was dedicated, flexible and savvy enough to meet any challenges we could face in the future.”

Steve Windham
Director Localization Technology

Solution

The Weather Channel television network selected SymphonyAI Media as its partner in designing and deploying a state of-the-art revenue solution, which was built on the cloud-based Revedia revenue management platform.

Revedia’s powerful workflow automation enables The Weather Channel television network to work at full speed.
Previously disjointed manual workflows, which are required to process data for the network’s 60 million+ subscribers in more than 200 markets, are now unified on a single platform. Revedia’s robust logic can handle the complex suite rates of The Weather Channel television network and tasks such as payment application can more easily scale with evolving revenue models.

The Weather Channel television network further leverages the Revedia platform to remotely authorize and deauthorize signals from any location, eliminating the need to authenticate an on-premise database. The Revedia signal management module centrally manages feeds across nearly 4,000 active IRDs located at operator headends, while SymphonyAI Media’s custom-developed APIs facilitate the seamless flow of data throughout the Company’s technology ecosystem.

For SymphonyAI Media, the success, comfort, and confidence of Bill and the teams were paramount. To ensure that The Weather Channel television network derived the greatest value from its partnership, SymphonyAI Media experts managed implementation, data migration, training, and onboarding end-to-end.

As Bill says, “SymphonyAI Media went far beyond selling a product or service. They worked diligently to integrate Revedia into The Weather Channel television network revenue ecosystem. Superior People + Superior Product = Successful Partnership.”

Results

Bill’s foresight paid off. His proactive approach to modernizing operations, and the unwavering commitment to efficiency of the teams, have positioned The Weather Channel television network to easily adapt to its expanding broadcast and OTT footprints.

At the core of the partnership with SymphonyAI Media is a shared commitment to the continued success of The Weather Channel television network. The Weather Channel television network has realized significant benefits since implementing Revedia, most notably:

“I found the Revedia software user-friendly with various features that enable us to perform our tasks more efficiently and accurately. One of my personal favorites is the Import Tool. It allows you to process multiple contracts at once, and the import takes approximately one minute from the time I hit import for the subscribers to be updated. This has reduced the subscriber import process time by 90%.”

Debra Fuller
Manager Revenue Accounting

“Having a global system has eliminated the need for yearly internal upgrades. This has removed weeks of manual testing, missing out on essential enhancements to the software. SymphonyAI Media has made the upgrades seamless by making all changes behind the scenes. Consistency of MVPD and system names has eliminated the human error aspect. Having a master database ensures the correct DMA’s.”

Paula Woubshet
Distribution Reporting Manager

“SymphonyAI Media has been an outstanding partner to work with,” says Bill.

Allen Media Group, which owns and operates The Weather Channel television network, now utilizes Revedia to manage revenue across all its business units. Following initial deployment, Allen Media Group has collaborated with SymphonyAI Media to thoughtfully re-architect five custom integrations across its businesses into one world-class solution.

Bill looks ahead to the future of The Weather Channel television network with confidence in his partnership with SymphonyAI Media. His outlook is based on three data points.

“They listen. They understand. They deliver.”