DirecTV pulls plug on Weather Channel
Michelle Clancy | 14-01-2014
In the country's latest content carriage fee spat, The Weather Channel and DirectTV have not been able to agree on terms to renew The Weather Channel's TV carriage agreement.
The Weather Channel says that for 30 years it has been the most trusted resource for disseminating timely information to help prepare and protect families across the US against weather-related emergencies. After failing to come to an agreement with the satellite network it slammed DirecTV for removing a "critical life-saving community resource" from 20 million households.
"For DIRECTV to take us off their line-up 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," said David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Company, parent company of The Weather Channel. "As the most trusted source of weather news and information in America, The Weather Channel is there when it matters most ... We have offered the industry's best rate for our programming and are committed to reaching an agreement."
The resulting blackout has caused a storm equal to that which The Weather Channel usually reports on. Jim Cantore, America's de facto national storm chaser has joined the fight personally, sending a note to DirecTV CEO Mike White asking him to keep the channel as part of the line-up. He also posted a blog on the subject warning of the potential danger to those who he claimed depended on accurate weather information in a country that is just getting over the worst winter storms in living memory.
Cantore added: "Many of our viewers, especially in rural areas, rely on our service to keep them informed and safe when weather threatens ... I am very sad that DIRECTV may lose The Weather Channel ... I have worked more than 27 years to provide viewers with the most critical weather information, when they need it most. As a network, our focus has always been to save lives and teach people about weather and climate. Many of you have grown up with The Weather Channel and you know we've been with you before, during and after storms as a trusted resource for those who need our information to stay prepared and ready for what the weather brings."
The Weather Channel has also launched a nationwide campaign to alert DirecTV customers to the fact that they are at risk of losing access to its weather programming and ask them to contact Congress about what it calls a public safety issue.