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. DAn says:

    Have not really missed them. If they want a weather realty show, give them another channel, but give me the current weather 24-7

  2. Mary Brooks says:

    Hope they are back on soon this thing called weather nation just wasn’t worth watching .When I see weather channel back I will reinstate my programing to what it was before .I cut all the programing to the lowest package I could get .

  3. You are THE WEATHER CHANNEL – be happy with that. You are like an actor that wants to be a singer – do what do you do and leave the rest to someone else. Hopefully, the spanking DirecTV administered taught TWC the lesson – you are expendable.

  4. Papi says:

    Now if only DTV can get TLC, Discovery, History and the rest of the learning type channels to drop their obnoxious “reality” shows, I’d switch back to satellite.

  5. Josh says:

    Thank Goodness, so sick of the same reality shows being played over and over. Get back to actual weather news

  6. Tina says:

    I would MUCH rather have Weather Channel than Weather Nation. I watch Weather Nation because I have no other choice. Thank goodness something is finally being done. My daughter loved Weather Channel and went so far as to try to start a petition on change.org. So thank you and please let us know when Weather Channel will be back for viewing.

  7. are they keeping “Highway thru hell” ?

  8. John Campbell says:

    I pretty much quit watching them when they began naming cold fronts.

  9. Pat says:

    This entire controversy has baffled me, because I can’t understand why anyone cares. It’s been two decades since I depended on TV for my weather information.

  10. Nellie W says:

    TWC is my favorite channel and when it was dropped from Direct TV, I dropped them. Got a better deal from another satellite company for less and have more including TWC. I did get a bit tired of the same programming but I’m hoping that changes soon. I enjoy a lot of the shows besides watching national and local weather. Regular TV doesn’t have much to offer anymore or you have to pay too much to get channels you would like to have. Almost went with an antennae but wouldn’t have gotten TWC at all. So opted to pay a small monthly amount to get it. If it gets dropped again I will just drop TV. Don’t like company’s that use their viewers like that.

  11. Its about time! We hated the service that replaced the Weather Channel! Welcome home!

  12. jean says:

    About time can’t get anything from weather nation when it is storming

  13. Beth Summers says:

    When? This dispute has been ridiculous. Why was the Weather Channel even created if they didn’t want to reach all audiences?

  14. Sooo…the Weather Channel is returning to being…The Weather Channel! Yay!! lol. Anyone else miss the days of elevator music and constant running radar images? YUP!

  15. Hahaha, so the Weather Channel finally caved. I was so sick of all of their stupid reality shows and incessant repeats instead of the weather! Weather Nation was a welcome relief.

  16. Karen L Luke says:

    This news makes me so happy!! But when will it come back on??

  17. djwoody says:

    Where can I find my forecast? Oh the internet. Done.

  18. angel says:

    I am so glad the weather channel is coming back. I do not like weather nation that was the replacement for TWC. It doesn’t have local radar and never talked or described any of the storms in detail, where they are, what they are doing or where they are headed.

  19. Kay Norris says:

    I live in Tennessee,in tornado alley. The Weather Channel always kept us up to the minute on tornados and inclimate weather, we just recently had soe bad weather and the current weather was all around Tennessee even when we pressed the red button we were instructed to push NEVER did have any realy local weather with radar. My husband will be VERY pleased. Thank you DTV that we did not have to make a switch decision.

  20. Randall Faircloth says:

    Though I am NOT a DirectV subscriber I thank you for getting rid of some of the re-runs of the “Other” shows!

  21. Sherry Alvey says:

    Altho it had nothing to do with the weather, I loved “Prospectors” and “Hell on the Highway”. I hope they keep them.

  22. Michael says:

    WeatherNation existed before The Weather Channel blackout. DirecTV did not create WeatherNation and they have no monetary interest in the channel, other than a carriage deal. WeatherNation is it’s own independent company.

  23. Cheryl says:

    I want the old (years ago) weather channel! I don’t want Al Roker or anyone else for that matter, showing me how to spring clean! I tune to TWC for WEATHER… I know, call me crazy!

  24. I remember when MTV showed music videos.

  25. Dan says:

    > Weather Channel has agreed to reduce reality programming by half on weekday

    OK now someone do this to the History Channel

  26. Barbara R. Wilkinns says:

    I am a direct TV customer and am thrilled to know the weather channel will be returning. The current Weather Nation may as well not be on there because the coverage is terrible! I didn’t mind the evening special on Weather channel in that if something major happening they would interrupt it and they gave very good coverage of local.

  27. Bill says:

    The consumer wins for a change.

    • Bea says:

      I don’t see how we won.. I did not sit and watch weather all day so those other misc shows did not affect me… I heard that Amazon is coming out with something that will be in direct competition with DTV.. I am curious and waiting to see how it pans out…

      • papachaz says:

        I doubt anyone ‘sits and watches weather all day’, but when you tune into a TV channel to find out what the weather is going to be, it’s nice to actually GET THE WEATHER info instead of some rerun of an old movie or some silly ‘reality’ show.

        THAT’S how the consumer wins. There are enough reality shows on the other networks, I’d actually like to see what tomorrow’s weather will be on the WEATHER channel. imagine that.

        I personally thought that weather nation was eerily similar to what TWC was in it’s infancy. I think if they were big enough to have more ‘regional’ coverage, they could have made it work

  28. michele says:

    as a dtv customer and avid weather channel follower I am thrilled by this news. I am even more thrilled about the cut on reality and more weather and being able to follow on other devices. Glad I did not make the “switch”

  29. mark kates says:

    As a Floridian, nice to have WC back before Hurricane season. Glad the reality shows have been diminished. They had taken over.

  30. Purple People Eater says:

    So what happens to Weathernation?

    • Fran Weiss says:

      I REALLY DON’T CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO WEATHERNATION AS I DIDN’T CARE FOR IT ONE LITTLE BIT. I AM REALLY GLAD THE WEATHER CHANNEL IS COMING BACK TO DIRECT TV AND SO QUICKLY….I MISS MY WEATHER ON THE 8’S!

      • seanplank says:

        I kind of enJOY WEATHERNATION BE…dang! Caps lock was on. Alright, so, as I was saying…I enjoy WeatherNation because it showed the weATHER FOR SOME//// What the heck! This pesky caps lock button. It’s like I have a choice between all caps and not all caps. Weird. I remember learning that IN THE STINKIN’ FOURTH GRADE!

        Alright. As I was saying, WeatherNation is pretty good about showing the weather for more rural regions, whereas TWC seemed to focus on cities. Regardless, they should keep both. No harm, no foul in doing that.

      • Shocker says:

        Dude….your Caps Lock is on.
        kthnx

  31. catherine nuccio says:

    Very disturbed by the way the TV is holding us to it standards. As a family we are thinking of dropping our service.

  32. Catherine says:

    yay, yay, yay, WeatherNation tried hard but they are just not TheWeatherChannel & I dont think it was even in hi def. yikes

    • peg wolfe says:

      “WeatherNation tried hard but they are just not TheWeatherChannel. . .”

      Catherine, the Weather Channel is not the Weather Channel anymore. The morning show is execrable, and virtually unwatchable. I WANT THE DAMN WEATHER AT 7AM, not some smarmy goofball yukking it up. And before I go to bed, I WANT THE DAMN WEATHER, not a pointless reality show about prospectors or “WHAT IF WE HAD A VOLCANO IN MINNEAPOLIS????,” for God’s sake. And I agree wholeheartedly with a lot of the foregoing posters – phony names for winter storms? Seriously??

      Thank you, Direct TV, for fighting the good fight on the quality of content. My hat is off to you.

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