The Carriage-Fee Battle Between The Weather Channel and DirecTV

by Greg Pollowitz

Has gotten stupid. A simple negotiation over carriage fees between DirecTV and The Weather Channel is now being spun by The Weather Channel as a “public safety” issue:

With crucial public safety and severe weather preparedness programming at risk of being dropped by DIRECTV, campaign asks consumers to speak out

ATLANTA, GA – Today The Weather Channel launched a nationwide campaign to alert DIRECTV customers that they are at risk of losing access to its critical weather programming, and asking them to contact Congress about this public safety issue. The Weather Channel and DIRECTV are involved in negotiations to renew The Weather Channel’s carriage agreement, but to date an agreement has not been reached. If an agreement is not reached by Tuesday, January 14 at 12:01 a.m. ET, DIRECTV viewers will lose access to the 24/7/365 national and hyperlocal weather information that The Weather Channel provides to consumers and communities across the country.

“For DIRECTV to take us off their lineup would be deeply irresponsible to its customers who not only count on The Weather Channel on a day-to-day basis, but depend on us before, during and after severe weather events. As the most trusted source of weather news and information in America, The Weather Channel is there when it matters most. If we are not available to DIRECTV’s 20 million viewers, they will miss the accurate and life-saving information we have been providing for more than 30 years,” said David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Company, parent company of The Weather Channel. “We have offered the industry’s best rate for our programming and are committed to reaching an agreement.”

The rest here. And the hyperbole doesn’t end there. For example, “Cantore’s Heartfelt Plea to DIRECTV Customers.

DirecTV answered The Weather Channel’s allegations with this release. . .

We remain in discussions with The Weather Channel on how to provide its service to our customers at the best value since people now use so many other ways to retrieve weather-related information. We launched WeatherNation (DIRECTV channel 361) as an alternative to provide 24/7 hard news weather coverage in response to numerous customer complaints that more than 40 percent of The Weather Channel’s programming is dedicated to reality television shows. DIRECTV also offers city-by-city weather coverage on more than 1,400 local broadcast stations and on DIRECTV’s emergency channels in times of severe weather.

. . . and from the looks of it, The Weather Channel isn’t impressing many TV critics with their argument.

Put me in the DirecTV camp. I rarely ever watch The Weather Channel, nor do I use their website or phone app. Too much junk and not enough weather if you ask me. Plus, DirecTV still has local channels with their weather coverage.

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