Posted: 8:55 pm Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Weather Channel/DirecTV sniping continues as third week of blackout arrives 

By Rodney Ho

The Weather Channel network has been blacked out for 20 million DirecTV subscribers since January 13, 2014. CREDIT: The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel network has been blacked out for 20 million DirecTV subscribers since January 13, 2014. CREDIT: The Weather Channel

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.

Jim Cantore won't be on "The Dan Patrick Show." CREDIT: The Weather Channel

Jim Cantore won’t be on “The Dan Patrick Show.” CREDIT: The Weather Channel

- 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.

13 comments
ksolomon
ksolomon moderator

Comment on this

HollywoodGirl
HollywoodGirl

I miss The Weather Channel! I wish DirectTV and TWC could work out their differences. I don't know that I will leave DirectTV for not having The Weather Channel, but they did tell me when I signed up that I would have the TWC and they have not held up their end of the bargain and I'm not happy about it!

atl30075
atl30075

i'd love to see the ratings on many of these channels the media conglomerates force on the carriers for a bit extra.  They'd probably quit creating them if they got paid based on viewership.  They're screwing themselves, anyway.  Dish raised their fees $2 monthly, & I'm gone.  My brother in VA is dumping his Verizon FIOS, and my dad in TN is dumping his Charter.  The nickel-and-diming is coming home to roost.  


I read something about the coming SEC Network commanding $1.25 per subscriber in this part of the country.  I think they're going to be sorely disappointed in how much that brings in.  Everyone I know is cutting the cord because of the constant increases & decline in real programming.  I used to like NatGeo & Discovery, but they haven't shown real shows in years.  I like sports, but not enough.  I'm fine with what runs on the Big 4.

Hodor
Hodor

I don't miss The Weather Channel at all from my DirecTV service.

Ulltraman
Ulltraman

Are you people nuts?! Only the geriatrics can sit and watch the same weather forecast for 8 hours straight. It is like WSB's radio braodcast- weather and traffic 10 times an hour. It's not going to change in10 minutes! The Coast Guard show provided a much needed break. Maybe they should have Wrestling on?  Get a life people. Weather on the 8's gives you an update six times an hour. Is that not enough  for you? If not, you might be an Oglethorpe graduate.

PMDR
PMDR

TWC rebranded themselves into a corner.  They should not be surprised it's bit them.   In my informal travels around the internet forums where this topic has been mentioned, the number of Pro-DirecTV/anti-TWC posts is staggering.  As in, there are nearly no posts defending TWC.  Clearly they have a huge problem that goes beyond this one issue, in that the audience is not only not in love with them, they may actually hate them enough to post on forums about it.  And they hate them more than they hate DirecTV, which is a really hard thing to achieve.   


I understand TWC had to change because you can get weather anywhere now.  How to differentiate and stay viable as a cable channel?  Well. What they did was alienate and the viable part is still up for debate.


Ironically, the TWC property Weather Underground is absolutely awesome.   Pure weather, as much nerdy numbers as you can stomach, stuff even weather pros don't understand.  TWC needs to become like that. 

BranchLoveless
BranchLoveless

I personally wish that they would reach an agreement and then let us choose which channel we want. That way those that dig the WeatherNation deal can keep it and those of us who prefer TWC with our "Local on the 8s" and field reporting can have that, I know, too frickin' logical to ever happen. 

DanJohn
DanJohn

Being a DirectTV customer I was angry about the change at first. I admit I only watch any weather channel when severe weather is a possibility. Honestly I prefer WeatherNation since it's only about weather. Mark Pendley is correct about WeatherChannel being a joke. While I don't think of it as a reality show I do think they were trying to become a network with their own television shows. They had some Coast Guard Show along with a show about gem hunters. My point is simply that any weather channel should be about the weather and nothing else IMO.

MarkPendley
MarkPendley

I never watch TWC anymore.  They have become a reality show filled joke.

GaTech_alum92
GaTech_alum92

I use apps for immediate weather.  


But it's always good to see how the weather, clouds, etc are moving/changing for the next day or so.  And hearing the meteorologists discuss that is helpful.   Especially with a snow storm like we just had!

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

So I love atlanta companies.....but seriously, who still gets their weather from tv?