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Weather reporters scratching more than their heads

THERE’S something weird happening with the weather in WA. In the bitter battle for ratings supremacy, Channel Nine and Channel Seven have added some zing to the weather report at the end of the nightly news.

The Weather Words scratchie, developed by the Lotteries Commission of WA for Channel Seven, and the new Weather Watch educational CD ROM are pitched at very different demographics but have a similar goal.

The 10-week Weather Words Scratch ‘n’ Win ticket has proved so popular for the Lotteries Commission there’s talk of developing a similar ticket to align with the sports report during the news.

“We saw the idea in the US but this is the first time anyone has done it in Australia,” Scratch ‘n’ Win product manager Natalie Chapman said.

The $2 ticket featured three different games and a panel at the bottom of the card that players scratched to reveal the name of a town in WA.

Players then were asked to watch Jeff Newman’s weather report each Wednesday evening on Channel Seven or GWN for an extra chance to win.

The ticket not only delivered viewers to the Channel Seven news but also put the Channel Seven and GWN branding into Lotteries retail outlets throughout the State.

“The ticket is based around town names and the news is one of the most watched programs and the easiest for people to see,” Ms Chapman said.

“They (Channel Seven) loved it because they got to go into all the retail outlets on the actual tickets, and it brought a fair bit of advertising support to them (the station).”

The cross promotion ran for 10 weeks, by which time all the tickets were sold out.

“It was really successful and we might bring it back in a diffe

ent format – maybe Sports Words,” Ms Chapman said.

“The mechanics of it are really easy and $20,000 is a nice little bonus for someone.”

Tilting at a totally different market, Channel Nine and Western Power have developed an educational CD-ROM for schools.

Channel Nine weather presenter Tod Johnston said the Weather Watch program had been running for a number of years and kids who participated in the course still stopped him in the street to chat about it.

Not only is Weather Watch an educational resource for schools around WA, it also nurtures a young audience for the Channel Nine news in Perth.

The Weather Watch program has been running in schools for about three years. Each year Channel Nine selects six schools and, during the course of a school term, classes measure elements of the weather from their weather station provided by Western Power.

The classes send the statistics they have gathered from their mini weather stations via e-mail back to Channel Nine and that information is displayed during the nightly weather report.

“If you do something on a daily basis the kids get a buzz out of it and they get their name read out on television, which makes their school profile a little bit brighter,” Mr Johnston said.

“From the corporate side you get the Channel Nine logo into all primary schools.

“It reminds kids that the weather is part of the local environment.”

The Weather Watch CD-ROM will be given to schools throughout metropolitan and regional areas around WA.

Designed to complement the Science Curriculum Program Investigations, it has been developed in conjunction with schools’ science curriculum.

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