DirecTV Customers Lose The Weather Channel in Fee Dispute

A DirecTV logo is displayed on flat screen televisions
Chris Rank, Bloomberg via Getty Images
By LYNN ELBER

LOS ANGELES -- About 20 million DirecTV customers nationwide lost The Weather Channel because of a dispute over fees between the channel and the satellite service.

The two companies pointed fingers at each other late Monday as a midnight Eastern time deadline for renegotiation of carriage fees paid by DirecTV (DTV) to The Weather Channel passed without an agreement.

In a statement, David Kenny, CEO of the channel's parent company, The Weather Co., said it offered DirecTV the best rate for its programming. Kenny accused the satellite provider of putting profits ahead of public safety.

"We are not looking for a large fee increase," Kenny said, just a "fair deal" that allows for continued investment in science and technology to deliver weather news and stories to viewers.

DirecTV called the loss of The Weather Channel "regrettable" but added that it would continue to provide weather news on its WeatherNation channel.

According to a statement from Dan York, DirecTV chief content officer, the two sides haven't stopped talking.

DirecTV is discussing an agreement to return the channel to its lineup at "the right value for our customers," York said.
The Weather Channel didn't immediately respond early Tuesday to a request for comment.

At a news conference Saturday, David Clark, president of The Weather Channel, asked viewers to urge Congress to intervene in the business dispute.

The channel is part of the NBC Universal stable of networks and is owned by Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), the nation's largest cable company.

"Yes, it is a privately held company and a for-profit" enterprise, Clark said. "That's OK. What also happens to be true is that we have a mission to serve."

DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said that the satellite service launched its own service, WeatherNation, in response to consumer complaints about the amount of reality programs that The Weather Channel airs instead of weather forecasting.

Local weather information also is available on local network affiliates offered by DirecTV, and during severe weather, the system also makes its emergency channels available for weather programming, he said.

-AP Television Writer David Bauder contributed to this report.



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k4jlp

Agreed, TWC screwed up by moving away from weather and airing shows that have nothing to do with the weather, The Weather Nation seems to be more in line of what I'm looking for, WEATHER FORECASTING.

January 14 2014 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
breid2

the weather channel should be paying direct tv for the privledge of being broadcast. there is weather all over the internet...and on cell phones, for free. beware weather channel- your life may be short lived.

January 14 2014 at 9:36 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dondavy28

THE WEATHER CHANNEL IS A BIG JOKE LATELY ALL CRAP AND LESS WEATHER

January 14 2014 at 8:46 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
eurothryna

The Weather Channel has gone down the same road as MTV and VH1. How often do you see music videos on those channels? There are so many other p-laces to go for weather. The Weather channel will not be missed by me!

January 14 2014 at 8:01 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jeff becker & Co

I agree! The Weather Channel is terrible. I turned it on to find out the weather for the hour or for the day. Instead, I get hours of broadcasts of TORNADOS. I try to avoid TWC today. It's mostly a waste of time.
TWC lost its direction, and continues to go the wrong way.

January 14 2014 at 7:30 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply