DirecTV Unleashes Storm of New Weather Options As Fight With Weather Channel Persists

DirecTV on Monday unveiled a suite of new weather services for its subscribers,  including  a feature that allows customers to gain access to local weather information at any time, in a  move likely to undermine the position of The Weather Channel, which was taken off of DirecTV’s 20-million U.S. subscriber service in January.

The two sides have not been able to reconcile, a break that reflects some tough realities for TV networks which must now vie not only with other boob-tube rivals, but also information and programming from digital sources. DirecTV has maintained that The Weather Channel airs too many programs that have little to do with offering subscribers nitty-gritty on climate, weather and temperature – which they are able to get from other media sources with ease.

“For over 30 years, The Weather Channel has invested millions of dollars in great local weather coverage.  These investments include precise local forecasts, live field coverage with trusted experts, Local on the 8’s, and most recently, a 24/7 local all the time scroll,” said Shirley Powell, a spokeswoman for Weather Channel’s parent, The Weather Company, which is owned by a consortium made up of  NBCUniversal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. ” We are not surprised that DirecTV needs to expend substantial additional resources on local, although the best solution would be that they simply return The Weather Channel to their lineup.”

DirecTV recently launched WeatherNation on channel 361, one position away from what had been Weather Channel’s roost at 362. WeatherNation is now being offered on Weather Channel’s slot.  The satcaster said customers  tuned to WeatherNation can press the red button on their remote to access instant local weather conditions and outlook. Later this week, short term and extended weather forecasts by zip code will also be integrated into the live WeatherNation broadcast and run automatically on the channel every 10 minutes.

DirecTV said  new “Severe Weather Mix,” a display of six different feeds available on one channel, will launch in early March and will be activated during major weather events that are potentially life-threatening. Services will vary depending on circumstances and could include: WeatherNation; coverage from local broadcast stations; live remotes from experienced meteorologists; a live radar channel for tracking severe storms; the latest weather advisories from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and live coverage from national news networks such as CNN and Fox News Channel.

The blackout is the first in Weather Channel’s 32-year history. Formed in 1982, the network previously had been available to about 100 million pay-TV households.

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  1. vdname says:

    TWC always focues on the Eastern part of the U.S. It’s as if anything beyond the Midwest doesn’t exist. I can check the weather on the NOAA site anytime, which pinpoints my location by zip code.

  2. Buzz says:

    Miss seeing Coast Guard Alaska on the Weather Channel. If Direct TV cuts programs shouldn’t we get a refund? Weather Nation is a poor alternative.

  3. Bill Centofanti says:

    So glad the weather channel is gone, always interjecting their garbage throughout the morning when all I really wanted was my local weather. More outlets should drop them!

  4. John Murray says:

    Your current weather nation is not comparable to the weather channel, when I signed up the weather channel was on my list, i want it back or give me a discount / credit for taking it off.

  5. Troy Slawson says:

    Get the weather channel back on. That channel is part of my package and I want it back. The weather Narion SUCKS and I can’t stand it. Direct doesn’t care about their customers they are worried about their own stuff, in other words if something isn’t going their way they will just cancel the channel.

  6. paul crawford says:

    weather nation sucks get the weather channel back on there is enough garbage shows on direct tv now

  7. Marylou Walters says:

    I am happy to be able to get the local weather anytime I press the red button instead of waiting an hour while the Weather Channel plays some boring story.

  8. Mike says:

    I agree to bring back the Weather Channel, Weather Nation is not good at al, they are trying to copy what The Weather Channel excels in. As a paying customer of DIRECTV for over 10 years, we should have the ability to decide what we want to watch!!!

  9. Janet says:

    Weather Nation is so lame. What does DirectTV think they are doing? A group of junior high kids could put on a better show.

  10. Loren H. says:

    WN is just too amateurish. No real field reporting so they rely on viewers photos and amateur videos. No immediacy re very local extreme weather conditions. DTV has done poorly in deciding what their customers want. They never asked their viewers opinions prior to dropping TWC, with the excuse that legal problems prevent them from informing their customers re disputes and potential upcoming actions. That’s bull; just watch for their frequent announcements on dealing with potential tax changes that some states have proposed concerning taxing sat TV. Also, DTV doesn’t want its paying viewers to know that they are giving WN to free over the air TV stations.
    .

  11. Robert Rock says:

    It’s ABOUT TIME someone did this. I can get the local weather in seconds with my cell phone, home computer or local TV station WAY QUICKER and more accurate than TWC. If TWC wants ‘retransmission fees’ which essentially means CHARGING the viewers they should be commercial free. If you show ads you should receive no money from PAY TV operators that enlarge your audience. Same goes for OTA TV Networks.

  12. Marylou Walters says:

    TWC had too many other shows. Just give me the local weather. However the red button on channel 362 doesn’t work, has been reported to Direct TV & nothing has been done about it.

  13. Marylou Walters says:

    Too many other shows on the Weather Channel. Give me the local weather. However the red button on 362 is not working, has been reported to Direct TV & so far nothing has been done about it.

  14. Jill Weeks says:

    Direct TV needs to bring back the Weather Channel….the replacement is terrible and not worth watching.

  15. Mr. Lynn Martin says:

    From the information that I gather, this is a fight over fees to carry the Weather Channel on DirecTV. That is their business. I do Not like the latest ad by the weather channel which shows a man tearing down his antenna and hitting it with a bat. That ad is uncalled for. Also my complaint is that there are too many stories, Prospectors, Coast Guard, tuna fishing et. when they should concentrating on giving weather information.
    Thank you.

  16. Harry Cooper says:

    the weather channel does not like Oklahoma! weather nation is working out the bugs

  17. SATXRick says:

    I’m a DirectTV customer and a former TWC follower. I agree that TWC reality programming is awful. However, last night I was trying to get information on the huge winter storm that was impacting the entire east coast. I had to wait about 30 minutes on Weather Nation before they even mentioned it, and even then, their coverage of it was less than stellar. I gave up and headed to the web. I hear Accuweather is coming out with a Cable channel in the fall. I hope DirectTV gives them a chance.

  18. Jack Saviola says:

    The Weather Channel created this problem for itself when it abandoned the all weather format in favor of reality TV schlock. i used to watch TWC for weather info in the late evening. TWC dropped all evening and late night weather months ago. I do not miss TWC on my DirecTV system and cannot see any justification for increased feees to restore the garbage on The Weather Channel.
    WeatherNation is a new service with lots of room to improve for sure. But it is weather.

    • Dianna says:

      Jack, I agree. I have Dish so I don’t have WeatherNation but I do follow on FB. I have complained to TWC about their reality shows. NBC has totally ruined TWC. With these last storms they talk about keeping coverage thru the night. What is that about. That is what they should be doing.

      The last complaint I sent ti mentioned I hope someone else will start another weather channel. Go WeatherNation!

  19. Elmer says:

    I’m glad TWC is gone, Weather Nation is much better. I’d be mad if they came to terms and replaced Weather Nation back with TWC.

  20. Joe says:

    One of my local stations runs Weather Nation on an off-air sub channel. They also run local conditions and radar at the bottom of the screen with it. I have Dish Network so I can still watch TWC but almost never do. Weather Nation is like the old TWC! The weather is there 24/7 with no BS program to wait through to get the information. Maybe this move by Direct will get NBC’s attention.

    Check your off-air channels. You might be able to see WN too.

  21. GARxDoctor says:

    TWC: turned into a “global warming” advocate. I’m enjoying the weather geeks on weather nation. I expect it to grow and willing to wait for more local weather programing

  22. Weather channel is okay as a web page or a phone app, not so much as a TV channel. If there is dangerous weather in your local area, local channels, websites and phone app do a much better job.
    I can see the weather as being a still popular channel for the 65 year old plus crowd and maybe a few weather junkies. Most people really won’t care and I don’t see very many switching providers over the loss of the weather channel. I haven’t watched the weather channel in years, there are just too many quicker ways to the weather than from a TV channel.

  23. Grace says:

    The Weather Channel used to be a weather resource before they were bought by NBC. Now that they are part of corporate media we have to forfeit our live forecasts for reality shows, many of which do not relate to the weather. I wish I could trade TWC for another one, because I am paying full price for half of what I am getting. The only time they present and track the weather is when there is a storm or some kind of catastrophe. Once the winter is over we’ll be watching reality show marathons again until tornado season or brush fires, hurricanes, etc. If I could cut the price of my cable and eliminate TWC I would just go online and/or watch Accuweather and local stations. I’m not a fan of DirecTV, but they do have personalized weather for all over the world. I’m glad they dropped TWC. I’d like to drop it myself.

  24. Skemo says:

    Weather channel sucks, they are more concerned about ratings and driving pageviews on their website then they are about delivering the news. They are shameless self-promoters, naming winter storms. Really? Pathetic.

  25. K Spence says:

    The new weather channel is a lame replacement of The Weather Channel we viewed and depended on for all these years. The replacement weather channel is worthless and makes me use my local weather news only now. You would do well to listen to the thousands who have responded to you to return the Weather Channel!

  26. w. says:

    Weather channel has been one of my favoriate channels for at least 10 years……Storm stories and active state/city search weather info has been a tremendious help to me….I hate it can’t be kept on air..the chanel 361/2 now sucks in my opinion… I can’t ever get weather I need to see unless I wait and watch for an hour and then sometimes it is not what I want………Please get the real weather channel back on.

  27. Miley says:

    Good. I haven’t watched the weather channel in a long time. They went over the reality stuff, and I lost all interest in them.

  28. Norm & Marge Nelson says:

    And I’m stuck with the weather channel. 😡

  29. Glad Direct TV took a stand…so tired of the Weather Channel…don’t watch it anymore.. too many phoneys..they got rid of most of the good weather people….too many agendas that have nothing to do with the weather…will watch Weather Nation…and anything else..just only want the weather…

  30. Vinny Barbin says:

    TWC has been dying a slow death for a number of years in my opinion. The naming of winter storms was the last nail in the coffin for me. TWC you will not be missed. And I am a very satisfied Directv customer.
    I’ve been watching The Weather Nation (TWN) (ch 362 on DirecTV) most of the day today and it is really a very refreshing change from all of the SENSATIONALISM, HYPE and GARBAGE that TWC regurgitates daily. The Weather Nation is what TWC used to be before they completely lost site of the original vision: To “FORECAST” the weather, the whole weather, and nothing but the weather, 24/7.
    Goodbye TWC. I WILL NOT BE MISSING YOU.

  31. FrankM says:

    The Weather channel does not have enough value to merit a retransmission fee. DirecTV was correct in asking for a fee reduction, but I don’t think they went far enough. Hopefully this dispute will be a wake up call to cable companies that they too should stop paying for this useless channel.

    Weather Channel should be a free channel, like all of the Public/Educational/Government channels. If they don’t like it, they can pay for carriage — like shopping networks do.

  32. Amy says:

    I miss the weather channel I liked alot of their shows like highway through hell and prospectors! Please bring it back to direct tv!!

  33. Terry says:

    DirectTV subscribers are still paying the same rate while they claim they are offering a better substitute to the weather channel. This is just not true. As soon as my contract terms are met as many other subscribers have said as well I will be leaving DirectTV after 14 years of customer loyalty.

    • Laurie says:

      I just switched from TW to Direct TV. I do miss the weather channel but I miss the OLD weather channel. Got tired of trying to find weather late at night and all i found were reality tv shows. But Terry, the main reason I switched was because I was paying OVER TWICE AS MUCH to TW for my cable tv and getting alot less service. I had been a TW customer for 22 years. This weather channel thing is a minor blip and I don’t think it is worth it to switch just over this issue. Up to you but I’d rather have more money in my pocket.

    • FrankM says:

      Weather Channel was in 100 million homes, yet only had an average monthly audience of 210,000.

      So statistically, 0.21% of DirecTV’s customers will switch services based on the loss of Weather Channel. I doubt it will even be a blip when mixed in with the usual customer churn figures.

  34. Bill says:

    Where will people watch Coast Guard Alaska or Storm Stories now? :-)

  35. Chris says:

    This video sums up how I feel. http://bcove.me/j5zg8cqj

    • FrankM says:

      You know you can get the weather info from other services that are free and easier to access, right?

      Weather channel is just upset because they are no longer getting $.12/mo each for 20 million direcTV subscribers. So that clever commercial is just a childish outburst because their greed has now cost them $28,800,000 a year!

  36. When it rains dish gets wet there oes my TV weather and all

  37. Howie says:

    Please DirecTV don’t EVER bring back that Reality show known as the Weather Channel! Stick with Weather Nation. This is what the Weather Channel started out as and what most people want. True they are a little klunky but they will get better over time. They are what I want to see!

    No more naming snow storms or shoving political agendas down our throats ever again.

  38. Bill says:

    Don’t miss the Weather Channel on DirecTV.

    Was aggravated during hurricane season, when I tried to tune in at 10 minutes until the top of the hour for the Tropical Update and Coast Guard Alaska or some other dumb reality show was on instead.
    Was similarily aggravated when winter storms started and the same kept happening.

    I appreciate a channel that is weather 24/7 like the Weather Channel USED to be.

    • mark says:

      I don’t miss TWC at all.
      True,weather nation is a little crude.But they will get better.

      I like the fact that when I go to 362,I get the weather.Not a Al Rocker show.
      I love watching him on the Today show pushing the weather channel.

      Sorry for your loss Al.
      Losing 20 million viewers has to hurt your bottom line.

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