UPDATED: Weather Channel Speaks on DirecTV Situation

The Atlanta-based weather station is in a fee dispute with a top television provider.

Credit: The Weather Channel.
Credit: The Weather Channel.

Updated Jan. 14: The Weather Channel (TWC) issued the following statement on Jan. 14 about the situation:

At 12:01 this morning,  The Weather Channel is no longer available on DIRECTV, which refused to come to an agreement on a market-based carriage deal. Following is a statement from David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Company:

“This is unprecedented for The Weather Channel. In our 32 years, we have never had a significant disruption due to a failure to reach a carriage agreement. We offered DIRECTV the best rate for our programming, and I am shocked they have put corporate profits ahead of keeping a trusted channel that subscribers rely on every day. We are not looking for a large fee increase. We are simply looking for a fair deal that allows our company to continue to invest in the science and technology that enables us to keep people safe, deliver the world’s best weather, and tell weather stories to help people be prepared and informed.

“At a time when DIRECTV has increased customer rates by 4 percent, they are trading safety for  increased profits and replacing the experience and expertise of The Weather Channel with a cheap startup that does weather forecasting on a three-hour taped loop, has no field coverage, no weather experts -- certainly not any on par with The Weather Channel network’s industry-recognized experts like tornado expert Dr. Greg Forbes and winter weather expert Tom Niziol --  and no experience in severe weather emergencies. This is a dangerous gamble over one penny a month that puts DIRECTV customers at risk.

“This reckless move by DIRECTV will have an impact on our role as part of the national safety and preparedness fabric of our country at a time when the volatility and frequency of weather events seems to be increasing. The Weather Channel partners with humanitarian and emergency management agencies at the local, state and federal levels. We help people prepare before storms, stay safe during their effects, and find help afterward. If the network is not available to viewers, the effectiveness of these partnerships, which help make us a more weather ready nation, are jeopardized. I am hopeful DIRECTV will come to their senses soon and will not force its customers to change carriers to stay safe and informed.”

Original post, Jan. 11: Another dispute between a broadcaster and a television services provider may affect Gwinnett County viewers soon.

According to media reports, DirecTV, which provides satellite TV services to people in the Duluth area, may drop Atlanta-based The Weather Channel (TWC) in a contract dispute.

The outage could happen on Jan. 14, according to TWC information.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the agreement between the channel and DirecTV was to expire at the end of 2013. The dispute is over money. According to SNL Kagan, an industry consulting firm, the Weather Channel charges about 13 cents per subscriber per month, the Times reported.

DirecTV, which is based in California, has more than 20 million subscribers per month.

However, DirecTV has begun carrying a network called WeatherNation, apparently to gain leverage in negotiations.

For its part, TWC has started a website called keeptheweatherchannel.com to press its case with viewers. On that site, it refers to itself as a "critical life-saving community resource."

This dispute comes not long after Charter Communications briefly dropped Cox Communications-owned WSB-TV on Jan. 1, 2014, in a fee dispute.

The latest dispute comes as TWC has begun efforts to broaden its appeal. It recently hired Sam Champion away from ABC's "Good Morning America" to host a new morning show.

The Weather Channel's corporate offices are located on Interstate North Parkway in Atlanta.

-- Would you be affected by a DirecTV-Weather Channel dispute? Tell us in the comments below.

DavidE January 11, 2014 at 11:12 AM
The cable and sat providers are on life support. They have a short life left (5-10 years) and everything will be moving to IP based, or back to OTA. If you combine the contract disputes with poor service and price hikes, the value is not there any longer.
reathelhallett January 21, 2014 at 07:06 AM
Tired of reality shows. Join the majority in this economy


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