DirecTV Just Lost the Weather Channel

A payment dispute has broken the relationship between the network and the satellite giant.

The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore reports on Hurricane Irene from New York City in 2011.  
National Journal
Alex Brown
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Alex Brown
Jan. 14, 2014, 9:39 a.m.

The Weath­er Chan­nel’s Jim Cantore can of­ten be seen brav­ing hur­ricanes, floods, or tor­nadoes. But today, vis­it­ors to the chan­nel’s web­site find him warn­ing of a dif­fer­ent danger: Dir­ecTV.

As of mid­night Tues­day, the Weath­er Chan­nel is no longer avail­able to Dir­ecTV sub­scribers, be­cause the chan­nel and the satel­lite gi­ant were un­able to reach a new pay­ment deal.

At is­sue is how much Dir­ecTV should have to pay to provide TWC’s pro­gram­ming to its sub­scribers. The 20 mil­lion people now without the Weath­er Chan­nel (the ne­go­ti­ation dead­line passed at mid­night) are now less safe thanks to Dir­ecTV’s stingi­ness, said the weath­er net­work. Dir­ecTV says that TWC is hid­ing be­hind faux safety con­cerns to try to grab ex­tra cash.

Ne­go­ti­ations con­tin­ue, and a deal would bring TWC back to the satel­lite gi­ant, but un­til then, Dir­ecTV’s TWC fans will have to do without.

TWS says its de­mands — which it puts in the neigh­bor­hood of an in­crease of one penny per-sub­scriber, per-month — are totally reas­on­able. And Dir­ecTV’s re­fus­al to pay up, the chan­nel says, puts its own in­terests ahead of the safety of mil­lions who rely on TWC dur­ing severe weath­er.

In fact, so dan­ger­ous and ir­re­spons­ible is the satel­lite com­pany’s chan­nel drop that it mer­its con­gres­sion­al ac­tion, TWC says. “Con­gress and Dir­ecTV need to un­der­stand the risks to your loc­al com­munity,” reads the Weath­er Chan­nel web­site.

Those claims are laugh­able, re­sponds Dir­ecTV. “The Weath­er Chan­nel does not have an ex­clus­ive on weath­er cov­er­age — the weath­er be­longs to every­one,” said Dan York, the pro­vider’s chief con­tent of­ficer.

Be­sides, if the Weath­er Chan­nel was really all about safety, it wouldn’t ded­ic­ate 40 per­cent of its pro­gram­ming to real­ity shows, Dir­ecTV said, cit­ing that num­ber — and push­back from its cus­tom­ers who prefer straight-weath­er cov­er­age — as reas­ons for its un­will­ing­ness to pay a high­er price. And that penny fig­ure TWC is push­ing?

That’s well be­low that ac­tu­al num­ber the chan­nel is de­mand­ing, Dir­ecTV says.

For now, both com­pan­ies are push­ing al­tern­at­ives.

The satel­lite pro­vider’s view­ers will have to settle for Weath­erNa­tion, a smal­ler net­work brought on by Dir­ecTV as its agree­ment with the Weath­er Chan­nel was about to ex­pire. Mean­while,the Weath­er Chan­nel still has its web­site. And it’s keen to re­mind Dir­ecTV how many people have vis­ited that page so far (cur­rently at 1,676,470).

What We're Following See More »
TWO MONTHS AFTER REFUSING AT CONVENTION
Cruz to Back Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST
WHO TO BELIEVE?
Two Polls for Clinton, One for Trump
2 days ago
THE LATEST

With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:

  • An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clin­ton lead­ing Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary John­son at 7%.
  • A Mc­Clatchy-Mar­ist poll gave Clin­ton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way bal­lot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
  • Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
NO SURPRISE
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Source:
TRUMP NO HABLA ESPANOL
Trump Makes No Outreach to Spanish Speakers
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."

Source:
$1.16 MILLION
Clintons Buy the House Next Door in Chappaqua
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."

Source:
×