87th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 17 January 2007: 8:30 AM
Broadcast Meteorology and the supply of weather forecasts: an exploration
205 (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Daniel Sutter, Univ. of Texas/Pan American, Edinburg, TX
Weather forecasts meet the classic economic definition of a public good, since the information can be easily relayed to those who did not pay for it and the cost of sharing the forecast with another person is zero. Yet many television stations across the U.S. undertake extensive efforts to provide viewers with weather forecasts. This paper explores the efforts by broadcasters to supply weather forecasts. In addition to examining some of the investments television stations make to cover the weather, I consider differences in investments across television markets. Are greater investments made in cities where weather is potentially more dangerous? When does the quest for ratings lead broadcasters to supply intensive coverage of weather?

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