×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.

More TV

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Norman Reedus and Ryan Hurst'The Walking

    Norman Reedus on 'The Walking Dead' Without Andrew Lincoln: 'He's With Me Every Day'

    After saying goodbye to most of the original cast on “The Walking Dead,” Norman Reedus still feels his former co-stars with him during each episode. “I’ve seen so many people come and go,” he said during a “Walking Dead” panel on Friday at PaleyFest. “Right now on the show, the ghosts of all those guys [...]

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content