The contract stand-off between DirecTV and The Weather Channel has turned into a Category 5 fail-storm.
The satellite provider has dropped the largely weather-centric cable channel from its subscription service. The Weather Channel portrayed the decision as potentially hazardous for DirecTV subscribers in a statement: “This is unprecedented for The Weather Channel. In our 32 years, we have never had a significant disruption due to a failure to reach a carriage agreement. We offered DirecTV the best rate for our programming, and I am shocked they have put corporate profits ahead of keeping a trusted channel that subscribers rely on every day…This reckless move by DirecTV will have an impact on our role as part of the national safety and preparedness fabric of our country at a time when the volatility and frequency of weather events seems to be increasing. The Weather Channel partners with humanitarian and emergency management agencies at the local, state and federal levels. We help people prepare before storms, stay safe during their effects, and find help afterward. If the network is not available to viewers, the effectiveness of these partnerships, which help make us a more weather ready nation, are jeopardized.”
DirecTV has replaced Weather Channel with another channel dubbed WeatherNation, which Weather Channel dismissed as “a cheap startup that does weather forecasting on a three-hour taped loop, has no field coverage, no weather experts — certainly not any on par with The Weather Channel network’s industry-recognized experts like tornado expert Dr. Greg Forbes and winter weather expert Tom Niziol.”
DirecTV told CNN.com that viewers have plenty of other options for weather information nowadays. “When information is readily available everywhere, it’s no longer necessary for people to have to pay a premium.”