Weather Channel Agrees to Alter Program Lineup to Return to DirecTV

weather channel

The Weather Channel is set to return to DirecTV after a three-month dispute between the cable programmer and the satellite broadcaster, but not without some major concessions.

To get back on the 20 million-subscriber service, Weather Channel has agreed to reduce reality programming by half on weekdays; return instant local weather; and allow DirecTV customers to watch the Weather Channel’s video programming on multiple devices inside and outside the home, so long as they can prove they are subscribers.

“Our apologies to DirecTV and their customers for the disruption of our service and for initiating a public campaign,” said David Kenny, CEO of the Weather Co., Weather Channel’s parent, in a prepared statement. “Our viewers deserve better than a public dispute and we pledge to reward their loyalty with exceptional programming and more weather focused news.”

The conciliatory statement marks an about-face of sorts for Weather Channel, which in early March seemed ready to invest more heavily in documentary-style series and reality programming, despite DirecTV’s objections and willingness to create a rival weather service during Weather Channel’s absence from its air.

The agreement will not affect Weather Channel’s primetime lineup or future programming development, according to a spokeswoman forWeather Channel. The the network has already replaced some of its longform programming on between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.  – think repeats of “Coast Guard Alaska,” “Prospectors” and the like – with live weather coverage.

Formed in 1982, Weather Channel previously had been available to about 100 million pay TV households. Not having a perch on DirecTV  reduced the network’s reach in significant fashion.

The fracas marked the first major blackout in Weather Channel’s 32-year history.

When  DirecTV took Weather Channel off the air, it said more than 40% of the network’s programming was dedicated to reality television shows, such as “Coast Guard Alaska,” “Lifeguard!” and “Prospectors.”

Meantime, Weather Channel indicated it was seeking a one-cent increase in the fees it gets per subscriber. According to market-research firm SNL Kagan, Weather gets an average of 13 cents per subscriber per month from pay TV distributors.

In February, DirecTV 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. The enlisted the services ofWeatherNation, and placed its content on the channel previously occupied by Weather Channel.

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  1. Cyndi Atwell says:

    I still don’t have my local weather on the 8’s. Weather Nation was horrible. Direct needs to give me back my local weather.

  2. HowardB1 says:

    I’d been a subscriber to Direct TV since Feb 1995, had it turned off last year and don’t miss it a bit. We have an antenna and can get local weather on OTA TV or via internet from national weather service. I just decided what I was getting wasn’t worth $75.00 a month. I learned how to read in 1956 and I recommend it. Now our evenings are for relaxing, reading books and listening to music…ah, much better. As it turns out Newton Minnow was right…

  3. obamia says:

    …directv is full of it…now….will they take those rediculous increases off my bill…?

  4. Thank goodness SOMEBODY got through to TWC that we just want the WEATHER!!!! I hate all those dumb shows!

  5. Jimm Crouse says:

    Can’t say that I’ve really missed the Weather Channel on DirecTV. Their own Weather Nation or whatever it is has filled the void quite nicely for my needs.

  6. Well, there you go… I’m currently paying 13 cents per month for a channel I NEVER watch… and they are going to increase that fee by another penny. How much crap that I never watch am I paying for, just so I can pay to watch the things I really want to watch?

  7. Nicki says:

    I cannot wait to get the weather channel back! I have been lost without it since we first lost it. I have made numerous phone calls to Directv to beg for our beloved channel again. You really see how great good reporting is when you are thrown something like a Weather Nation, they unfortunately we’re not prepared to come in and be compared to the Weather Channel and that is ultimately what occurred. To no fault of their own, I do not know this for sure but would bet that they were running on a budget that is probably less than a quarter of what the weather channel has to work with, so kuddos to Weather Nation for coming in and sufficing for those of us begging for our Weather Channel back, they did a great job. I look forward to seeing all of our regular reporters again like Jim Cantore, Mike Bettes, Stephanie Abrams, Sam Champion, etc. and seeing weather happening in real time on location. WELCOME BACK WEATHER CHANNEL!!!

    N. Herman

  8. Nita Wilson says:

    Glad to see TWC is returning! Weather Nation was horrible! Can’t wait to see TWC’s return.

  9. Leslie says:

    Weather Nation is a joke. The Weather Channel is the best by far of any weather station on television, including local channels. We live in a mountainous region and have to travel by car frequently. I depend on TWC, particularly in the winter, to know when to go and when to stay put, depending of road conditions between home and my destination. It is also good when traveling by air to know about airport delays and what weather is affecting far flung family members.

    At first, I didn’t like the shows, either, but have come to enjoy “Prospectors” and the shows on space weather and crazy weather on Earth. I’ve learned a lot from these programs and the weather is still forecasted on the bottom of my screen. I personally don’t believe TWC should have made any concessions to return to DirecTV’s line-up. Welcome back, Weather Channel!

  10. Val S says:

    What about ‘The Weather Channel’ has anything to do with reality shows? I do not understand. Actually, I had pretty much given up on getting good info from them unless a hurricane was on with all the ‘other’ programming they put out now. Glad to see they are returning more to their bases. I don’t mind documentaries, etc, but stick to the weather, that’s what your there for!

  11. I agree that they overdid it but I learned things from some of those shows. Of course, the rest of you already know everything so lerning is unnecessary. (Yes, I am being sarcastic!)

  12. cindymac says:

    I don’t’ miss Weather Channel even one bit. Please… I just want to see THE WEATHER. Reality TV shows?? Puh-lease. There are enough of those everywhere else. What’s next for Weather Channel…. home shopping too? You have no power here…be gone with you!!

  13. Marilyn Herman says:

    I cannot stand weather nation.

  14. Penny Stimely says:

    I’m certainly glad to have the weather channel back, I hated Weather Nation!!!

  15. Ken says:

    Never even knew they were gone. Who watches the Weather Channel?

  16. WELCOME BACK TO MY HOUSE WEATHER CHANNEL. I hated Weather Nation. During severe storms, there was nothing but pre recorded programming.

  17. Michelle Cain says:

    I’m glad to hear The Weather Channel is coming back! It will be nice to be able to tune in and get Local on the 8’s again.

  18. Mark Mende says:

    Hey Brian Steinberg, you might want to have someone edit/proof your articles before you post them. Geesh!

  19. Finally, the WEATHER channel will be weather again. Now if they could just do the same thing to the MUSIC channels.

  20. david bratsk says:

    its amazing that the once great weather channel had drifted so far away from what it was. I stopped watching a couple years ago. next thing they need to do is get weather.com back to a weather website, not loaded with these totally ridiculous and unrelated to weather stories. what does someone poaching a rhinos tusk have to do with weather??? if the weather channel needs a consultant, they should ask and pay me. I have better ideas than the dummies running things now!!!

  21. Mancel Allen says:

    Give me ‘Local on the 8’s’ ANYTIME!

  22. Mancel Allen says:

    I never cared much for ‘reality’ shows, but when it comes to weather, well, that IS reality. I have missed you terribly. I’m elated that you’re coming back. I don’t care for DirecTV, but where I live, it’s the only option.

  23. Karen G says:

    Does this mean we get the interactive weather back?

  24. Tabitha says:

    I can not express how happy I am to hear TWC is coming back to Direct Tv. After enduring 2 Major Ice Storms n 2 Tornado outbreaks since going off air, this puts me more at ease. I live just North of Memphis, n our weather can b unpredictable and dangerous. The other weather station was of no help n was very generic in coverage. Thank you for making amends!

  25. Derrick Brown says:

    I Actually Liked The Way The Weather Channel Was That’s Usually What I Watched

  26. Adam says:

    “The satellite distributor called the service WeatherNation, and placed it on the channel previously occupied by Weather Channel.”
    WeatherNation is actually a completely separate company from DirectTV and has been around for several years now, long before this dispute. It’s not something DirectTV coined or created. They are building a good name for themselves in the broadcast meteorlogical community.

  27. randy says:

    I really missed Stephanie Abrams big butt. Other than that not so much.

    • Mancel Allen says:

      Randy, when DirecTV is the only option (it, unfortunately is for me), it’s better than nothing – barely. I live in ‘tornado alley’, and I don’t give a big rat’s fanny what the weather is doing on either coast. I am absolutely elated that TWC is coming back. ‘WeatherNation’ is like a dust devil (we have those here); they suck for air.

    • Brian says:

      LOL Randy, Kristin Clark (Weather Nation) has got a nice big butt too :)

  28. We really have missed you…called daily to Direct TV and complained every day and thought about changing to another service……Live on NC Coast…Thank you…

  29. ificandream says:

    I actually like DirecTV’s new weather service because it had just weather. I assume that’s going off the air now. Sorry to see that, though I hope Weather Channel will stick with what it does best … weather.

  30. Gretchen Pierce says:

    I will be so happy to have the weather channel back on….haven’t watched weather since they went off….the one direct tv but on…..was awful, decided to not watch it at all….in protest…..so glad you will be back on soon I hope missed everyone on there!

  31. Laura says:

    I quit watching the Weather Channel long ago when the reality garbage took over. I get enough of that crap from the History channel and A&E (which now has NOTHING to do with art OR entertainment.)

  32. bonnie says:

    its a weathet channel not a reality show. this twc is for r safety

  33. David says:

    WeatherNation is a farce and I am GLAD to hear that The Weather Channel is coming back. Do not know the real reason for the dispute but the CUSTOMER should never have to suffer because of back room bickering. Both CEO’s need to grow a pair and remember that this is not about them but the service they provide.

  34. ybugs says:

    I’m glad the Weather Channel and DirecTV were able to settle their differences so that the Weather Channel is coming back. I wish DirecTV would bring back the Inspiration Channel and others like it. The dispute seemed difficult to understand who was “right.”

  35. Bobby says:

    I would rather watch WEATHERNATION

  36. Cheryl says:

    It was so we could not get weather on the Weather Channel. I am not interested in reality shows. The only reality I want is if the roof is going to get blown off or if we are getting a foot of snow. Weather Nation is nowhere near as good as its predecessor, but at least it did give the local weather occasionally.

  37. when will it be back?

  38. Terry Elliott says:

    We can’t watch the Weather Channel for more than 10-15 minutes because of all the mindless fear-mongering over the weather that goes on. Today’s storm– whatever they’ve got today– is just going to cripple millions. These warnings are done with relentless pounding background music and scary videos from other storms that also crippled millions. It’s a wonder anyone lives more than a week because the weather is so treacherous. Give me a break people. Just tell us the weather.

    • Ivy says:

      I agree with you, Terry Elliott. The constant barrage of Real Life horror stories are rivaled only the threats of Impending Weather Doom. As you note, it is geared to instill fear in people’s minds.

      One wonders what the purpose of all this fear-mongering? Do they want people to live in a constant state of agitation, afraid to leave the relative safety of their storm shelters?

  39. Summer Fey says:

    And forget about that “It Could Happen Tomorrow” show!! I almost had a heart attack one day when I tuned in not realizing you were showing fantasy lies! DO NOT PUT THAT SHOW BACK ON!!!

  40. Mister Salty says:

    Now if only they can get MTV to show music videos and History Channel to carry some history-related programming.

    • Miss DH says:

      LOL! Well said Mister Salty!!! I do like some of the documentary stuff Weather Channel does – that is WEATHER related, because it’s fascinating to me. But just as you point out with your comments about MTV & History Channel, my interest is in documentaries that are relative to the station name (ie, WEATHER). Guess you and I are just crazy enough to think that what a station is named in situations like these, should be what they air shows about!! My bigger issue that made me angry with the Weather Channel is that while I do think they are a great station overall, especially in times of weather crises where I live or loved ones do, that it was narcissistic of them to expect me to change my tv subscription based on them. I subscribe to Directv to have access to programming that ONLY they carry, among other “regular” stations.

  41. Donna says:

    VERY HAPPY It’s coming back Did not like Weather Nation at all !!!!!!!!!

  42. Lila Rose says:

    What I got from all of that fuss is that I would never subscribe to Direct TV. End of that story.

  43. Barb says:

    Glad to see The Weather Channel is coming back to DTV….do not like the Weather Nation….I MISSED Jim Cantore and Mike Bettis!!!

  44. Donna Ratcliff says:

    Glad to hear that i will be getting the Weather Channel back . I didn’t like Weather Nations , They didn’t know what they were doing, might of watched them a half dozen times , then called Directv , told them they took away one of my favorite ch.

  45. jennifer says:

    I would like to see both channels to stay on direct T.V !! The weather channel being second best and Weather nation being first !! but that’s just my opinion !!

  46. They need to stop naming winter storms. How remarkably stupid.

  47. JJ Smith says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. I LOVE the Weather Channel and the programming they had before DTV dropped them. As long as I could push the red button and get the weather and the forecast for 5 different cities at any time, day or night, I was very happy with them. I HATE the weather thing DTV replaced TWC with. Hate it. I very much wish Weather Channel hadn’t apologized. They have nothing to apologize for. I support their former programming, and I very much welcome their return.

    • Gary says:

      Reality shows were the downfall of The Weather Channel and the reason DTV dropped them. There is no shortage of reality shows on DTV and cable so anyone with an appetite for such programming should not have to look far to find it. I admit, I don’t particularly care for WeatherNation either, but at least they stayed true to their purpose, to provide 24/7 weather, which is what TWC did before selling out to the reality show fad. I hope TWC will go back to their old programming style and stop all the reality nonsense.

  48. Craig says:

    Don’t name cold fronts, I’m looking for weather on the weather channel, If I was looking for something
    Like coast guard IDE put on the history channel. Pleases make this a real weather channel, like when it first started! When is it going to be back on the air?

  49. terry st nmichel says:

    Happy to have weather channel back

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