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Press Release

June 2, 2008

The Weather Channel and Cisco Launch Virtual Tour of the Network’s New High-Def Studio on weather.com

Cisco Networking and Security Solutions Power "Studio of the Future"

ATLANTA - June 2, 2008 - The Weather Channel is working with Cisco to enable the creation of a new high definition broadcast studio that allows for a richer, lifelike view of the weather.  The Weather Channel HD Studio, features state-of-the-art projection screens, graphics and weather systems, as well as Cisco core and emerging technologies for increased reliability and protection in the demanding 24/7 broadcast reporting environment.  An online virtual walkthrough of the studio (www.weather.com) is the crux of a cross-platform advertising campaign on TV, mobile and web which demonstrates the power of the human network.

weather.com and Cisco have created Web content that will offer a virtual tour with behind-the-scenes information about how the network ramped up to provide HD from the all-new "studio of the future."   Starting June 2, both standard definition and HD viewers will see a dramatic difference in the on-air look of the network resulting from a transition to the new studio, housed in the new $60-million facility adjacent to TWC headquarters in Atlanta. 

Cisco Technologies Power TWC Network

Cisco, a long-time provider of services to TWC, has been working with the network over the last year to upgrade its infrastructure to meet the enormous new demands to power a 24-7 live HD operation.  Cisco products utilized for the new HD studio included switches essential to the infrastructure backbone and a security monitoring system to detect potential threat patterns from would-be hackers.

"We are redefining the way weather will be presented on television.  This has been an enormous project and Cisco has been a trusted, proficient partner in accomplishing our goals.  It is fitting that Cisco also take part in our staging of a 'virtual tour' so that the public can see the studio of which we are so proud," said Paul Iaffaldano, Executive vice Vice President / General Manager, The Weather Channel Media Solutions.

"We congratulate The Weather Channel on offering its viewers weather information in a state-of-the-art, rich high definition format," said Diane Dudeck, Senior Director of Marketing, Cisco.  "High Definition changes the television viewing experience and Cisco is pleased to be an integral part of this new era in TV viewing, by providing a turbulent free network infrastructure."

New Campaign Spotlights Studio and Technology 

The centerpiece of the Cisco campaign will be a 30-second "pro-mercial" video which will play in banner ads across weather.com to promote and create interest in the virtual tour.  Once users enter the tour, they can visit 21 "points of interest" where viewers can click on an icon to find out more information.  In several of these points, users will learn of Cisco's involvement in the highlighted part of the new studio facility.   In addition to a Web presence, the campaign also includes a Cisco mobile mini site which includes information about the studio tour, trivia, the pro-mercial and direct links to Cisco's mobile Web site.

The campaign included an online promotion May 1 to June 2 about the launch of HD programming and the virtual tour.  The site featured a countdown clock, trivia questions, and details about a sweepstakes which had a top prize of a trip for four to Atlanta to see the actual HD studio.


About The Weather Channel Companies
The Weather Channel companies (TWCC) are made up of The Weather Channel® television network, The Weather Channel digital properties, and WSI. The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta and is seen in more than 100 million U.S. households. TWCC also operates Weatherscan®, a 24-hour all-local weather network; The Weather Channel Radio Network; and The Weather Channel HD. The most popular source of weather news and information, TWCC properties reach 60 million monthly Web consumers (weather.com and Desktop) and 32 million monthly mobile users (mobile Web and applications) and offers the second most popular mobile app on all smartphones. WSI, headquartered in Andover, MA, primarily provides business-to-business weather services, particularly for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors. TWCC is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. For more information, visit www.weather.com/press.