Posted: 8:55 pm Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
By Rodney Ho
Here’s quick summary of how the Weather Channel blackout from DirecTV is playing out in recent days with no resolution in sight:
- Last Friday, Mike White, the CEO of DirecTV, responded to the Weather Channel salvos with a letter to the public. In it, he said DirecTV research shows the Weather Channel is the fourth place their viewers go to check out weather behind local news and Web/smartphone options. He also believes the Weather Channel is only worth one-quarter of the amount they’re asking. He also repeated that many viewers felt the network had wandered away from its core mission by airing reality programming for up to 40 percent of its time, mostly prime-time and weekends. And while he acknowledged the replacement network WeatherNation isn’t quite the same, it does at least offer weather 100% of the time. (The Weather Channel, since its rebranding in November, does offer a scroll of weather 24/7, even during commercials and reality shows. And it has frequently preempted reality shows when bad weather happens.)
- The Weather Channel posted full-page ads last week complaining that DirecTV is making it financially difficult for people to get out of contracts who feel the network betrayed them by dropping DirecTV by asking for $200 to $400 fees to leave contracts early. It says 90,000 people have pledged to leave DirecTV. DireTV said 99.9995% of its 20 million subscribers have stuck with them.
- In a new ad today, the Weather Channel disputed DirecTV’s assertion that based on its percentages, only 100 people have left. “If DIRECTV truly believes nobody cares about The Weather Channel, then it should have no problem waiving its punishing cancellation fee for those who must change providers,” the ad said.
- DirecTV has banned Jim Cantore as a guest to talk about Super Bowl weather from ‘The Dan Patrick Show,” which is owned by DirecTV, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“We like Jim and thought, under the circumstances, that it may be a bit awkward for him to appear on a DirectTV-owned show so we let him off the hook,” said a DirecTV spokesman, who added that Douglas can “help us navigate through our weather needs for Super Bowl.”
Instead, they used someone from rival WeatherNation.