“In today’s environment, customers are increasingly accessing weather information not only from their TV but from a variety of online sources and apps,” the telco said in a message sent to FiOS TV customers on Tuesday.
The showdown between Verizon and Weather Channel comes after DirecTV — the No. 1 U.S. satellite broadcaster — dropped the net last winter. The satcaster restored Weather Channel three months later, after the net agreed to reduce reality programming by half on weekdays, return instant local weather and grant in-home authenticated access to TWC.
In a statement, Weather Channel said: “We were disappointed when, without warning late yesterday, March 9, Verizon FiOS dropped The Weather Channel from their lineup while our companies continued to be in active conversations regarding a contract renewal… We urge FiOS customers to contact Verizon and voice their displeasure.”
Weather Channel said it recently renewed carriage agreements with Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and NCTC. “(W)e are surprised Verizon FiOS would deny their subscribers access to the best live weather coverage and expertise that only The Weather Channel can provide,” the cabler said.
FiOS TV had 5.6 million subscribers as of the end of 2014.
On March 10, Verizon launched the new AccuWeather Channel, available on FiOS TV on channels 119 (standard definition) and 619 (HD), which were previously occupied by Weather Channel.
In addition, Verizon said it will provide the FiOS TV WeatherBug widget application, which features local weather, on channel 49. Customers also can launch WeatherBug by pressing the “widget” button on the FiOS TV remote.