Weather Channel Pulled from DirecTV

weather channel

Weather Channel goes dark on satcaster, the first major outage in the network's 32-year history

DirecTV is no longer carrying the Weather Channel after the two sides were unable to reach a deal — which the cable network said is the first major blackout in its 32-year history.

In a statement, David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Co., said the situation was “unprecedented.”

“We offered DirecTV the best rate for our programming, and I am shocked they have put corporate profits ahead of keeping a trusted channel that subscribers rely on every day,” Kenny said. “We are not looking for a large fee increase. We are simply looking for a fair deal that allows our company to continue to invest in the science and technology that enables us to keep people safe, deliver the world’s best weather, and tell weather stories to help people be prepared and informed.”

The Weather Channel, formed in 1982, previously had been available to about 100 million pay-TV households. DirecTV, with 20 million U.S. subscribers, reduces the network’s reach substantially.

DirecTV chief content officer Dan York called the loss of Weather Channel was “regrettable,” but said in a statement, “Consumers understand there are now a variety of other ways to get weather coverage, free of reality show clutter, and that The Weather Channel does not have an exclusive on weather coverage — the weather belongs to everyone.”

According to DirecTV, more than 40% of The Weather Channel’s programming is dedicated to reality television shows, such “Coast Guard Alaska,” “Hawaii Air Rescue,” “Highway Thru Hell,” “Hurricane Hunters,” “Lifeguard!” and “Prospectors.”

Weather Channel did not say what fee it was asking for, but Kenny indicated it was 1 cent per subscriber per month above the current rate. Weather Channel carriage fees for pay-TV providers average 13 cents per subscriber monthly, according to SNL Kagan.

The Weather Channel’s previous carriage agreement with DirecTV expired on Dec. 31, 2013, but the companies had extended it to midnight Eastern on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Last Saturday, the Weather Co. launched a PR campaign warning viewers that DirecTV could drop the network and urging them to contact the satellite operator as well as congressional representatives to complain.

The satcaster recently launched WeatherNation on channel 361, one position away from Weather Channel at 362. (DirecTV now lists WeatherNation in both channel positions.) The new channel, DirecTV said, provides “round-the-clock hard weather news, free of any interruptions from reality TV.”

Kenny referred to DirecTV’s 2014 price hikes, which will increase subscriber bills an average of 3.7% in February. “At a time when DirecTV has increased customer rates by 4%, they are trading safety for increased profits and replacing the experience and expertise of The Weather Channel with a cheap startup that does weather forecasting on a three-hour taped loop, has no field coverage, no weather experts… and no experience in severe weather emergencies,” Kenny said.

DirecTV also said customers can obtain local weather coverage on 1,400 local broadcast TV stations, and added that its emergency channels provide urgent info during severe weather.

The Weather Co., based in Atlanta, is owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal and private-equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. 

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  1. larry says:

    Non meteorologist Al roker and reality programming are NOT weather and when either are on camera i immediately change channels, congrats nbc on dismantling what WAS at one time one of the three most popular cable channels

  2. dave says:

    Its not just the reality shows that suck, its also twc’s forcasts’s..they suck!! they are always wrong and usually not even close. and all they never show weather that is effecting us out west.

  3. cl says:

    I’m glad the Weather Channel is gone. At least Weather Nation reports the weather not run reality TV. I can’t believe the people who want this channel back are real customers nobody even uses the Weather Channel how could you actually get Weather info from a channel that runs 20 hours of reality TV that has nothing to do with the forecast. These people are nothing more then paid bloggers from the Weather Channel.

  4. christina forson says:

    The new weather channel doesnt show my area let alone the weekly weather. I dont care for this channel and the other channel needs to be brought back. It was noted that washington was getting rain but we got snow. If the weather channel isnt put back on then the new channel needs alot of improvement because it sucks, just saying.

  5. Michael Shelton says:

    I will miss the instant weather for my city and up to 5 more at my choosing on the active venue. I check the forecast and current temps for several cities every day. I know that I can find each one on the internet but the active venue was so convenient. I hope we get it back however I rarely get my hopes.

  6. Joseph says:

    So first they try to pull Amc, now they are pulling Weather Channel, great they are getting to just only accept channels which save them money!

  7. I signed a contract with directv for specific programs, one of which is the weather channel. If this is no longer offered I do not feel compelled to continue with directv.

  8. Jack Saviola says:

    It’s now the Reality/Schlock Channel. Hasn’t been the Weather Channel ever since NBC bought them. No big loss!

  9. rich says:

    wearher nation sucks

  10. pat lane says:

    The weather Channel, IMO, has gotten lost in it’s own self importance. I used to really like/enjoy it from it’s inception in the early 80’s. Now the w/c’s content was something other than the weather. I’ve been trying to comment/complain for years. There is no easy way that I have found to contact them. When they are doing the weather, I agree, they are great, but I really don’t won’t to sit thru 15 minutes of some crap to finally get the weather. Hopefully, this will bring them back to reality, but in reality, I doubt it.

  11. msrud says:

    Bring back the Weather Channel.

  12. Malinda Lance says:

    What in the hell has happened the the weather channel. This is not a good weather nation. The other weather channel saved mine and my family’s life and now y’all give us something that ant going to. I’m not happy. Y’all don’t care about no one but your self. The weather channel helped me get my daughter to Asheville NC safely and I don’t know if I want to trust it no more.

  13. Wendy Hahn says:

    The Weather Chanel Is by far excellence in weather broadcasting & is Always available when needed
    Outrageous !!!!!
    Bring them back ASAP

    • Old Gator says:

      When was the last time you watched them – five years ago? TWC just a garbage dump of reality shows – all of which are endlessly repeated – from about noon onward on weekends and from 8PM until 5Am the next morning on weekdays, with a few more monotonous gouts of reality junk middays on weekdays as well. They’ve split up the best chemistry they ever had between meteorologists when they separated Stephanie Abrams from Mike Bettes and sent her to New York to try to make Al Roker (whose production company – surprise! – produces some of these awful reality shows) look good, and stuck her on a 5:30 AM when most folks just want some information about the weather for their commute. What a witless move. NBC has been wrecking this station since the day they bought it. It’s painful to watch.

      And yes, these are the same pencil necks who railroaded Air Force Major Nicole Mitchell due to her military service as a hurricane hunter – and then had the gall to begin running a series on hurricane hunters as part of their reality programming!

      We can live nicely without the wreckage of The Weather Channel. Accu-Weather is developing an “all-in” weather channel for release this fall. It sounds like it’ll be worth waiting for. And maybe The Weather Channel’s debacle will convince them to speed up its development.

  14. Joe Carroll says:

    Isn’t this the same show that screwed around with Nichole Mitchell because she is a reservist? How ironic. Maybe Direct TV employs a lot of reservist or has a few on its’ board who remember how you treated a great reservist!! Ha ha :-)

    • Old Gator says:

      Agreed. I believe she has a pending arbitration against them and I hope she takes them to the cleaners. In any case the way she was treated was reprehensible.

  15. BEST News I’ve heard in a very long time. I deleted TWC from my listings, went to the wireless method to get my weather. Between cantore’s arrogance, his attitude, and thinking he is a god, I’m glad DirecTV has disconnected relationships from TWC. GO Weather Nation! I disagree with TWC on every point they make for staying on the airways: they are not an exclusive weather place, much time is spent on “other programs”, little or no time spent with true weather details. When they screwed “Nicole Mitchell” for a position with the military service, That ended TWC for me.

  16. Ray Roxx says:

    The weather channel was watched a lot in my home.There reality shows are real compared to everything else that is out there.Direct TV makes enough money and should be more concerened about there customers that have been with them for over 16 years.Bring back TWC.

  17. Bill Keown says:

    I hated to see the Weather Channel cut, but I feel like they have been headed that way since being acquired by NBC. I confess I watch the TWC almost all day just for the company and the meteorologist chatter. When the reality shows started, I cut my time down by 75%. Those so called reality show are about as real as a pink elephant and as entertaining as watching the cracks dry up after a rain shower.

  18. That’s awful for me in 28 years! I don’t understand what’s the heck going on.

  19. brian says:

    Yes I love it !!! I have followed TWC since 1982 and I get really disappointed when I have to wait for a barrage of commercials and stupid Jim Cantorie documentaries. Also, my son lives in Rochester NY. Recently, there was a bad snow storm there. TWC sent weather personnel to Syracuse, a city 25% as large as Rochester. Rochester is not, and has never been, on the map??? Also, I live in Atlanta and last saturday we had severe weather . TWC only had a small ticker of the warning. I said the heck with this and as I often do, turned on the local coverage.

  20. Bill Dehr says:

    The Weather is still available without The Weather Channel. They are mostly owned by NBC and in any real weather events, 25% of the NBC Nightly News is the Weather Channel if viewers want weather from only that source. There is nothing special about their talent and their local forecasting is not strong. I don’t need to see Cantori getting rained on in a hurricane. By now, I know what it looks like.

    Kudos to DirecTv for trying to keep the cost as low as possible. Supply and demand dictates the marketplace. There is tremendous supply of weather forecasts. The demand for weather channel only is paltry in comparison.

    I put Weather Nation on for 30 minutes last night and my wife was sure we were watching the weather channel. Their brand is just not as strong as they hoped.

  21. Robbie Goldstein says:

    Looking for profit over providing a tremendous need and service to the people of America.
    Shame on Direct Te

    • Michael says:

      Kudos to Directv. The Weather Channel lost its way (like MTV) when they started with the reality shows.

      • I would be upset over this but The Weather Channel just isn’t nearly as good as it was 5 or 10 years ago. Reality Shows??? Every time I turned it on all I could find is reality shows. I would be screaming at DirecTV if the Weather Channel actually did weather 24 hours a day. But they don’t and so DirecTV is cheating 20 million subscribers out of 18 hours a day of reality shows. (It may not actually be 18 hours a day but it sure seems like it)

      • db says:

        Take away the reality shows and the weather channel would be worth it again

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