Weather Channel Blasts DirecTV On Termination Fees

weather channel

Cabler paints its carriage fight with satcaster as a consumer-protection issue

The Weather Channel is hoping to turn up the pressure in its carriage standoff with DirecTV by blasting the satcaster’s termination fee policy for subscribers who want to change providers.

Weather Channel went dark Jan. 13 on DirecTV after the sides could not come to terms on a carriage agreement. DirecTV maintains the cabler, partially owned by NBCUniversal, has veered too far from its charter of providing weather updates with the addition of reality series to its lineup. The satcaster has replaced the channel with its own service, WeatherNation.

Weather Channel has painted the fight as an issue of public safety, especially at a time when severe weather conditions are blanketing the East and Midwest. The cabler has been aggressive in urging viewers to reach out to members of Congress and to switch providers. It assets that WeatherNation cannot be as accurate or as comprehensive as Weather Channel’s deep bench of experts and longstanding ties to governmental agencies and first-responder services.

The focus on DirecTV termination fees is the kind of consumer concern that might also pique the interest of pols and regulators in Washington.

In an open letter to DirecTV board members, Weather Channel chairman-CEO David Kenny claims that some 90,000 DirecTV subscribers have pledged to switch providers but are facing hefty termination fees.

“Your customers were never given a vote about DIRECTV’s decision to drop The Weather Channel. The least you can do is allow them to vote now with their feet by waiving termination fees for those seeking to switch to a provider that still carries The Weather Channel, as every other pay-TV company in the nation does,” the letter states.

DirecTV responded by saying that Weather Channel leaders “have lost all sense of reality.”

Weather Channel’s letter was set to run as a full-page ad in Wednesday’s edition of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

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DirecTV’s response:

“The Weather Channel is so used to dramatizing the weather, they may have lost all sense of reality. 99.9995% of our customers are telling us a vastly different story – and one TWC may not want to hear — they do not want to be fed a steady diet of 40 percent reality TV programming that preempts hard weather news. The two-way dialogue we enjoy with our customers, which is far more accurate than external surveys and focus groups, tells us they have resoundingly voted for the 24/7 news WeatherNation offers, which more completely meets their demand for dedicated weather information.”

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  1. Paula says:

    @ DTV- 99.995 % -that is an outright lie!! I called about canceling service (after being a premiere customer since 1998) and the nice rep I spoke with said she was receiving call after call after call of customers, like me, who were furious that you dropped TWC, and that the reps were inundated amd instructed to appease us by giving everyone a discount for subscibing to some sports network, and that the discount would equal the $ loss of TWC!! Pathetic! And the joke of a channel you replaced it with can’t even be considered weather Its a weather JOKE that looks like something from the 70’s- and the loop is laughable. You “think” over time we will get used to it- NOT. You have dropped channel after channel, twc, soap net, insp, and the list goes on. Yet your subscribers have not seen a 1 cent decrease In our bills for lost programming on the money you are saving an lining your pockets with!! You’ve gone from a company people loved n raved about to a company restraining (jailing) customers at all costs! Put your money where your mouth is (or fatly lined pockets as the case may be ) and Create a commercial offering disgruntled/ dissatisfied subscribers, and believe me there are more than you think over this, or know and won’t admit to, the opportunity to leave/switch for free (for a limited time) and then recount your false percentages to at least publicize a more accurate truthful number!!!

    • shannon says:

      I agree with you Paula 100% If they they they have that percentage of people who will stay then they shouldn’t be worried and offer a leave us for free.

  2. Jeanne Sexson says:

    I want the Weather Channel back! I was a constant viewer and found their broadcasts informative. Weathernation is a far cry from the in-depth information the Weather Channel offered. I quit watching because it was a waste of my time.

  3. josclark3412@msn.com says:

    I have used TWC and had to call them because I thought there was some thing wrong with the cable, Oh the cable guy told me he use’s Direct tv. I enjoy the weather channel especially when I’m traveling and would like to see them come back, however I agree with DTV to many junk shows

    JC-ORMOND

  4. Heyward McConnell says:

    I am planning on a trip to Atl this week-end (2-15) If I had the TWC, I would know more of what the rds are like. You show ( not that I watch the dull show much) the map – which I don’t understand, just goes back and forth. It stinks.

  5. I want my weather channel back. Along with a lot of our friends we do not like what we have now. When we started on Direct we enjoyed the weather channel and we did not have a choice in changing it. You made a great mistake on this. We do not watch it anymore. Direct can do better than this.

  6. Susan Barron says:

    We prefer The Weather Channel. We have watched it for years, and we enjoy the different programs as well as our own weather every few minutes. There is really nothing to like about Weather Nation other than an overview of the weather across the USA.

  7. john herman says:

    twc sucks. too much reality crap.doubt it’s real, mostly staged. too much of this stuff on tv anyway. twc is not the only network I have a beef with on this jive ass reality junk.

  8. bill parrish says:

    weathernations is a piece of crap we are full time rvers that depend on the weather channel

  9. James says:

    I’m thinking of switching because of the monthly increases I get to my bill that Sam’s club swore to me that wouldn’t happen and now they take the 1 station that I watch every dog gone morning before I go to work!!! The weather nation looks and sounds like a free station for sure, half of them can’t talk and it looks cheap. Plus I can’t push a button and get a local report anytime I want like I could with Weather Channel. Bring it back or I’m gone

  10. Sharon Holcomb says:

    We are very dissatisfied with the weather nation..local weather?? absolutely not!! Please bring back The Weather Channel!!

  11. David Denman says:

    The Weather Channel is one of the main reasons I came back to Directv, this past fall…mainly because of the red button that I can push and get immediate local weather and radar to see where the storms are as they approach our rural area. Also, my favorite channel to watch has been the Inspirational Channel, and now you have kicked them off. Well, your 99.99975 percent is in reverse as to the message you tell people….that percent hates what you have done. And, since you have taken away the programming I came to you for, I see no legal reason you have to force me to stay with you with a penalty payment. A class action lawsuit and my congress reps will love chewing on those anti-American actions you may think you have. I have marked my calendar and one month from now if we do not have what we intended to pay for, then bye-bye.

  12. Jerry Bragg says:

    I am thoroughly disgusted with your decision to cancel the contract with the weather channel. This was never mentioned to your subscribers for any input before you decided on your own what we are allowed to watch. The weather Nation is a fake imitation that offers nothing for local weather. I am so fed up with DirecTv I am presently looking into another alternative to your service. If you and a few of your customers were not satisfied with the “reality tv conflict on the weather channel” you claim was the reason for cancelling; why did you not just offer the weather nation in addition to the weather channel and let your customers decide which channel to watch? That would have been to logical for your consideration. I believe it may actually be greed driven that unfortunately led to the cancelation of our beloved weather channel. Shame on you directv!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Bill Saunders says:

    Directv once gain is taking a vlued program, The Weather Channel of the air without any regard, care, or input from customers. I have been with Directv for 9 years and I am about fed up with their “non-customer service”. The new weather service is basically and completely useless.

  14. Bob DeRose says:

    Directv is so selfish to terminate their contract with The Weather Channel and to not allow us customers to switch providers without hefty fees. I hope everybody contacts their congressperson to pass legislation allowing customers to switch providers without fines when a vital program is dropped without a majority vote from their paying viewers. Their substitute weather channel does NOT allow me to get my local weather every hour or any comprehensive forecast throughout the U.S. Lives are depending on the Weather Channel’s proven, real-time information. They do it logically and scientifically and have proven their excellence.The argument that they are airing too much reality t.v. is a lie! They always interrupt their regularly scheduled programming when a significant weather event is occurring.THE WEATHER CHANNEL in invaluable! Don’t let greed compromise our safety and freedom of information rights!!

  15. Janet LaForest says:

    I definitely miss The Weather Channel. Our son and his family live in Oklahoma. The Weather Channel coverage of the storms there will not be matched by anyone.

  16. M.G.E. says:

    BRING THE WEATHER CHANNEL BACK IT IS BETTER THAN THE OTHER! MGE F.R. ALA.

  17. Chris says:

    I will be leaving direct tv I loved the service buy I like the weather channel and feel that it is very important to people in my area with the hurricane season coming again. I do not like the Hicks on this other weather channel So I will just have to let direct tv go and they are welcome to sue me over their termination fees I have a very good lawyer friend who will handle this for nothing .

  18. Jonathan says:

    To be honest, the Weather Channel is nothing more than glorified weather stories, mini “Storm Stories” movies and advertisements everywhere. It isn’t anything like what it used to be, for those that remember. Now it is nothing more than a Social Media, see how your friends are, and when there’s a storm, they all have names now. Scare, Scare, Scare… But wait, we’ll be right back with another storm story and here’s your 15 seconds of local weather. The website, even worse. Today the headlines are: Tragedy at ski competition, were we wrong about alien life, winter pictures from icy space and “Tell DirecTV you want the Weather Channel. I mean please. Where’s the WEATHER in all this crap?

    Way to go DirecTV for seeing the Weather Channel for what it is… video, blog and twitter crap!

    Oh yeah, P.S. my local TV station gets it right MORE often than The Weather Channel
    (Chattanooga, TN)

  19. Becki says:

    I like the weather channel thank you. I enjoy it and am familiar with it. On another note I pay so much each month for particular channels….and some of those channels I don’t even get…and when I call in to inquire why I get told because I don’t have the right lense on my satellite. Well if you are selling me a product and I am paying for a particular product it is YOUR job to provide me any and all means of receiving a COMPLETE PRODUCT, not a product missing pieces. What kind of crap are you guys trying to pull?! Lastly, I think everyone involved with this issue and the battle of the tv services is ridiculous. You are all bickering like my 2 and 6 year olds.Grow up, and if you offer a product or service stand by your offer damnit! The customer is always right, even when they are wrong. Just how it works in these kinds of fields. I think it is also asinine to pay 70$ a month for 3/4 of my programming to be politics and infomercials and buy on tv crap. I am not interested in that shit. Make that shit its own package for those who enjoy that stuff. I want family channels, stuff that my kids can watch but the adults will enjoy too without having the same program on 4 channels. Have some damn variety!

  20. Jana Payne says:

    I want THE WEATHER CHANNEL back NOW. Weather Nation is the most boring, unprofessional channel I have EVER watched!

  21. Dennis W. says:

    I found TWC to be a great mix of professional weather news along with some very interesting weather related reality shows, as REAL reality. They always covered in detail any real weather news if needed. Weather Nation is mostly generalize weather that is commonly given during any other news coverage, certainly not a station to watch on a frequent/regular basis. Since non of the sat. providers have any appreciation for loyalty anyway, it looks like time for a change at a greatly reduced rate!

  22. K Smith says:

    I’ve been with Direct TV for over 6 years. I frequently watched the Weather station during the day. I enjoyed the 7 day forecast and I really liked programming various zip codes of friends & family. I could click on my remote and get weather updates then. The Local on the 8’s also showed the extended forecast in my zip code. This was a great feature. I can’t do this with the weather nation & I’m not impressed with this station. I’m very disappointed that the Weather Channel is not on Direct TV anymore. I do not have a smart phone or I-Pod, so I have to turn on my computer just to get the local weather during the day before the evening local station news. I hope things can be resolved in the near future so I can once again watch the Weather Channel

  23. d sappah says:

    weather nation is just a low budget channel and it is not good directv wake up i have been with directv on and off since 1994 there start up yr. so maybe it might be off again please listen to your loyal customers bring us a real wether station instead of that joke weather nation its bad

  24. charles says:

    Direct TV is bad about dropping stations without letting its customers having any say.Well I am going to say this direct TV sucks ass and when my contract is up I’m switching.The Weather Channel kept me informed non stop as 2 tornados destroyed my home town of Moore oklahoma . I live in Texas and I was talking to my brother as the tornado was approaching his neiborhood,he was in his truck trying to move away from the storm as I was telling him what path it was traveling.My brother and his family was one of the lucky ones.So many others wasn’t. Thanks to the weather channel I was able to help them,and direct tv bitch about money and not lives. Direct TV for once think about us the people who mad you millionaires and not yourselfs,

  25. Jim Jackson says:

    Jim Jackson
    I like the shows on TWC , I could get local weather any time I wanted with the active button, or up to date weather for any zip code,at an instance.Sorry Direct Tv I can’t see weather nation being anything close to what I signed up for.

  26. Pat & Keith says:

    We signed up on the premise of having TWC. Now we can’t leave because of early termination fees. Directv states that 99.95% of its customers would rather have Weather Nation. If there were a class action suit for waiving the early termination fees, we would be in. Bring back TWC or waive the early termination fees.

  27. sue says:

    weather nation sucks, bring back the weather channel

  28. Luther Barber says:

    Really? The Weather Channel thinks that people subscribe to any tv service just to view them? The local channels are still the best for LOCAL weather. I believe that Weather Nation will suffice since the channel should broadcast the upcoming weather. The many news channels keep us informed on what happened yesterday. People always resist change and do a lot of barking but very seldom bite…..
    Keep up the good job Direct TV. I have been to TWC and Dish….No Cable Truck and no Lost Signal.

  29. Al Redman says:

    I THINK THAT DIRECT TV MADE A MISTAKE WHEN THEY REMOVED THE WEATHER CHANNEL.I DO NOT APPROVE OF THE SWITCH TO THE WEATHER NATION Channel. WHAT A JOKE !!!!!! I WILL BE SWITCHING IF DIRECT TV DOES NOT FIX THIS PROBLEM. AND I MEAN QUICK !!!!!!!!!!

  30. Cher says:

    In TX, the weather changes so quickly that we need the experts on The Weather Channel! Snow & ice were a big issue this last week, and your “new” channel didn’t address our LOCAL weather at all. We want TWC back.

    • Bok Choy says:

      Direct TV doesn’t give anyone any choice of anything without paying for it. Since I want the Weather Channel and am tired of paying rent every month for 7 year old equipment so they can keep advertising the “Family Plan” for 29.99 by sneaking up the monthly equipment fee for 1 regular and 1 DVR type. With the family plan jacked up to 49.28 including tax, I do not have anything much but on the air TV, and lotsa religious and shopping channels; not even a decent News Channel.

  31. Michael Hanna says:

    Bring back The Weather Channel or lose customers…weather nation?..are you serious?…

  32. chris says:

    I cant stand the weather channel. Back when the weather channel aired it was all about getting the viewers the weather 24/7. Now you need to go to there website or download there app to view the weather. There local on the 8’s are a joke. I live in charleston sc, and youll never see our local weather. The weather channel is just like Mtv no music just crap. I stand by directv and weather nation

  33. raidrfan says:

    Either the weather channel returns by July or I will switch back to cable when my directv contract runs out. I can always switch back at any time because cable does not require a contract like directv or maybe I won’t!!!

  34. Watching the weather nation is as bad as watching HONEY BOO_BOO. please bring back the weather channel… Was this a ploy to increase our monthly cost??sure hope not.

  35. dropping the weather channel was an enormous mistake!!weather nation seems to give minimal info for the northeast and gives more info on the south and Midwest.VERY bad choice on the behalf of Direct TV. We do not agree with the above statement that a large amount of customers want weathernation!!It does not provide the safe and accurate weather and alerts that the weather channel provided!!!

  36. Christie Turner says:

    I THINK THAt DIRECT TV MADE THE WORST MISTAKE EVER WHEN THEY REMOVED THE WEATHER CHANNEL. I HAVE HAD DIRECT TV FOR YEARS AND THE WEATHER CHANNEL HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE BEST AND GAVE US THE BEST WEATHER.I DO NOT APPROVE OF THE SWITCH TO THE WEATHER NATION.NOT A GOOD CHOICE AND I WILL BE SWITCHING IF DIRECT TV DOES NOT FIX THIS PROBLEM.

  37. Kerry says:

    I love TWC. Sadly I have to agree with the complaint concerning too many so called ‘reality shows.” Perhaps TWC needs to adjust their programming?

  38. kim stover says:

    I am a long time Directv customer and ready to find another provider that will show the weather channel. The weather nation is my grandmother weather channel not mine. Instead of stepping up and moving forward Directv is going backwards. Weather nation is below what I expect from my provider.

  39. joey says:

    TWC is the best they have shows on Twc but when weather gets bad there always on letting people no.. weathernation is not very good weather and most of the people on there act like they just reading a screen trying not to mess up.

  40. Bob Fritze says:

    The weather channel gives me local weather forecasts formy particular zip code, projected wind velocities and direction, present, evening, next day temps which weather nation does not and these things are important to me. So I think directv should get weather channel back and not charge customers more as they already charge too much.

  41. Raymond Bailey says:

    DirecTV is smoking dope and blowing smoke. There is no comparison between the Weather Channel & Weather Nation. The Weather Channel is far superior. Unless DirecTV settles thier issue soon and “repents of their stupidity” I predict many subscribers will be leaving DirecTV.

  42. Vinny Barbin says:

    I really can’t believe all the folks out there in DirectTV land that would actually switch providers just because of the weather channel. I don’t buy it. In the past, I do remember when the weather channel was a true weather provider without all the needless sensationalism and other programming that we get from them today. Now, I can recall numerous occasions upon turning to TWC just to find that they airing some 1/2hr to 1hr long documentary and NOT the current weather that I want or need.

  43. The Weather Channel has become the MTV of weather channels. MTV gained fame by broadcasting music videos… but no more. Over the years MTV phased out music videos and news on the music industry for their own reality TV and pre-produced fluff aimed at attracting new viewers who have little interest in music videos or music news.

    The Weather Channel has done the same thing, and now they are facing the backlash over it. I’m glad DirecTV replaced The Weather Channel with WeatherNation. Watching WeatherNation reminds me of what The Weather Channel used to be like many years ago.

  44. Tammy glass says:

    Directtv in my opinion has become very greedy! This is not the first time they have cut tv stations. There may be a few that don’t like the weather channel but the majority of people do. I have family members for one that are very upset about this. My father who is in his upper 70s watched it everyday. He does not have access to a computer or does he have any desire to have one. He gets all his info from the weather channel and he hates weather Nation. Directtv needs to stop with their greed and put their customers first! I was with Direct tv over 12 years I know how they use to be and what they have become now. Its sad! I am now with Dish and plan on staying with them

  45. Foo Fram says:

    The Weather Channel has a mighty high opinion of itself. Like the only place all those poor Easterners can get info is from them? Remember, these are the folks who make it their business to make the weather more…interesting? Can you say “sensationalized?” I, for one, don’t miss them and their named winter storms and their crappy website a bit.

  46. Duane Luther says:

    way to go direct TV … you took away from us and did not even say a word that it was gonna happen …..cant wait till my contract is up ,, your new weather channel lol wow where did you get those great bunch of dumb butts….

  47. Jake Snow says:

    Twenty million people lost the Weather Channel when DirectTV dropped it. That only 90k are switching over the issue tells you how little people care. The Weather Channel was fantastic 10 years ago, now it’s sensationalism and reality shows.

    • Doug Sinclair says:

      Amen, Jake – “weathertainment” is not as entertaining as Mother Nature…go back to what made you great, TWC

    • Capt.Felton S. Dixon Ret. says:

      The whole IDEA of DirecTV dropping the weather channel is a very Dictatorial Concept. The entire Idea of DirecTV dropping any Channel without first Timely advising its subscribers is Dictatorial at the very least. NOW dont get me wrong, I love DirecTV and I also love the Weather Channel, and I abhor the WEATHERNATION. with TWC regardless of what channel I am watchinh, I could always get the Weather for my Location, BUT now all i get is Channel 362 for generalized weather. This Just does’nt work for me. Captfdix

      • Barry Warner says:

        The weathernation is a bunch of garbage, sucks big-time. You did the same 1 1/2 years ago with Fox. Been with you for 16 years good luck keeping me for even one more year

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