The Weather Channel and DirecTV Are in for Stormy Weather

Weather Channel, DirecTV, agreement, business

The Weather Channel and DirecTV are in for stormy weather as the Tuesday deadline is blowing closer with no new agreement over distribution in sight. The current contract between The Weather Channel and DirecTV expired at the end of last year. The two companies agreed on an extension, however the Weather Channel suspects DirecTV will cancel the service because the companies cannot agree on a lasting contract.

David Kenny, chief executive of Weather Company, the parent company of the Weather Channel, stated DirecTV would be irresponsible to the customers who count on the Weather Channel to remove it from their line-up. Customers turn to the Weather Channel everyday and depend on the channel during severe weather.

Starting Saturday, the Weather Channel began asking their DirecTV customers to contact their Congressmen and request help in keeping a critical public safety channel on DirecTV. In addition, given the severity and frequency of emergencies related to weather conditions across the nation, weather information that is accurate and up-to-date is vital for public safety. This issue demands congressional action.

Financial issues divide the two companies. The Weather Channel has increased weather-related spending and hired Sam Champion, weatherman from “Good Morning America” and is attempting to raise fees it receives from cable and satellite subscribers.

SNL Kagen, a research and industry consulting firm, reported the Weather Channel charges its distributors 13 cents per subscriber every month, significantly less than more popular channels like ESPN, TNT and USA which average from 60 cents per month up to five dollars per subscriber every month. On the other hand, on average the Weather Channel’s audience is significantly smaller than the entertainment networks, which is why the forecast for DirecTV is stormy weather ahead.

DirecTV explained that while the company is attempting to keep costs lowered or even flat for its network distributors, the company needs to take into consideration the fact those channels with high ticket sporting events drive up subscription prices. DirecTV went on to state it planned to raise subscriber costs to help offset the increase in programming fees.

In a press release, DirecTV claimed negotiations with the Weather Channel have focused on how to provide service to customers at the most economical prices, referring to the fact weather services are available from so many sources. DirecTV has added another weather channel, Weather Nation, to its line-up, which will effectively take the place of the Weather Channel, however Weather Nation does not bring with it the brand equity or size of the Weather Channel. DirecTV has placed the new channel, Weather Nation and the Weather Channel in adjoining spots on the guide line-up. Executives at the Weather Channel are upset by the blatant negotiating tactic.

Executives from DirecTV have defended the move stating their subscribers need to have access to up to the minute weather information 24 hours a day without reality TV interruptions. Subscribers can get the access DirecTV promises them on Weather Nation. The reality TV reference was a “dig” at the Weather Channel’s attempts to widen their programming by including reality shows with a weather tilt. “Highway Thru Hell” is a reality series about Mother Nature against man. “Breaking Ice” is a reality series focusing on ships traveling through icy waters. As the two companies continue to battle over money, the Weather Channel and DirecTV are in for stormy weather.

By Deborah Baran


LA Times

Salt Lake Tribune

Buzz Feed

14 Responses to "The Weather Channel and DirecTV Are in for Stormy Weather"

  1. STEVE KOPENITZ   February 7, 2014 at 8:58 am


  2. Bob   January 22, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    For everyone out there that thinks TWC is the only way to get your weather, try turning on your local tv stations in the AM. They ALL have a meteorologist on staff 🙂

  3. tomasreal   January 15, 2014 at 4:00 am

    I used to like the weather channel, but now it has become the PC reality TV channel. CNN had far better coverage of Typhoon Haiyan than the weather channel. I tune into to get weather and instead I get reality TV. What’s with a show that is titled ” when weather changed history” ? Don’t those idiots at the weather channel realize you cant change history. Perhaps the weather made history but to say it changed history is so pathetically stupid that it destroyers their credibility. The world is better off now and I hope Direct TV sticks to this decision.

  4. Crystal   January 14, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Weather Nation is a JOKE. No comparison to the weather channel. we will be dropping our service!

    • DUDA   February 2, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Really? With so many other ways to check your local weather, you would drop DTV just because your missing Prospectors or every other ‘reality’ show they have on?
      The weather channel had so many stupid shows on, only weather to certain parts of the country, and maybe 8 minutes of weather an hour. Sorry if I’m late to this, but seriously I don’t watch them for my local forecast, and can’t stand the “HYPE” media they produced. Didn’t even notice they were gone. If you wanted more money, why did you STOP showing actual Weather News? Good Riddance, hope your other destributors pay your bills, because DTV(the largest satellite company) won’t be helping you anymore

  5. Robert   January 13, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Putting in my 2 cents. Get rid of Weather Channel. Who needs them. I’ve also been trying to get our city to get rid of the 911 phone emergency system and police and fire departments for years. They don’t make any money for my city. I agree with Direct TV that we need to ‘eliminate’ portions of our population occasionally. It’s just part of nature. I’ll bet all of you whiners are from Oklahoma. I also agree with them that money is so much more important than lives. A company like Direct TV, which delivers such incredibly poor-quality service really has to think of their ‘bottom line’ and not care about their viewers and the safety of those that watch their programming. Balance the lives of a school-full of children and the profits to their shareholders and you’ll see where the importance is. RB/WTL.

  6. Debbe   January 13, 2014 at 5:42 am

    DUMP THEM! They’ve turned into nothing but reality tv. Thanks Directv for adding Weather Nation, now we can get weather.

  7. Joyce Torbett   January 13, 2014 at 5:36 am

    I cannot start or end my day without The Weather Channel! Too many business and personal decisions rely on TWC. No Weather Channel–goodby Direct TV!

  8. Thomas L. Johnson   January 13, 2014 at 4:28 am

    Direct TV, I watch the Weather Channel every day and you dam well know it. You monitor everything that goes through that dish. You have a big audience with the weather channel and if you cancel your going to drop your audience of customers, so you had better think about that before you go and do something stupid like this. I pay good money to watch Direct TV and I am a good paying customer, but if you drop them tomorrow you won’t have me watching Direct TV anymore. That is one bill in my household I won’t have anymore. You had better think about that today for tomorrow you might just get a big sur prise in your venture.

    Very dissatisfied Customer!!!

  9. Maxx   January 12, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    As usual, it does boil down to money. It is, after all, a business.
    I can certainly understand not wanting all the “reality” shows that The Weather Channel seems to think are so great. I never watch them. I’m not interested in some silly female tramping around in the rocks in her underwear. I go to the Weather Channel to try to find the weather and then I get all this other junk.
    I’m also fed up with the blonde bimbos with the mini skirts, exposed cleavage and whinny voices who are supposed to tell me all about the weather. I turn the sound OFF.
    The Weather Channel has not done itself any favors with all their “remodeling” (several times now). The show is extremely hard to watch and the maps are horrible. At any given moment there are upwards of 10 items on the screen; stuff flashing, flickering, swirling, scrolling, jerking around till it makes me dizzy to watch. So I don’t.
    If Direct TV can find a supplier of REAL weather broadcasting, good for them!

  10. Tod Whitney   January 12, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I don’t understand “HOW” Direct TV could even possibly consider cancelling The Weather Channel? This Emergency based Channel is a life saving Network designed to SAVE LIVES!!!

  11. Ramona Hovey   January 12, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    The weather channel is the only thing we watch, so when it is gone we will cancel our subscription to Direct TV.

  12. Ruth   January 12, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I use to love the weather channel, but, not so much since so many other programs have been added. I tune to the weather channel to get a quick glance of the weather, or if some bad weather is going on. Most of the time now, something other than weather is on.

  13. Del Donovan   January 12, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    The weather channel is one of the main reasons we subscribe to Direct TV. Direct TV continues to remove channels that we enjoy. Keep it up Direct and we will move to a service that provides the channels we desir. It is time that those of us who PAY for a service actually GET the service we are paying. Wake up Direct, your customers are speaking out and you need to listen.


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