News Column

DirecTV Freezes Out Weather Channel

January 14, 2014

UPI Entertainment News

U.S. satellite television provider DirecTV has dropped The Weather Channel from its subscription service due to a contract dispute.

"This is unprecedented for The Weather Channel," the channel, which is home to famed meteorlogists Sam Champion and Al Roker, said in a statement Tuesday.

"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."

EW.com said DirecTV has replaced Weather Channel with WeatherNation, which Weather Channel deemed "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."

"When information is readily available everywhere, it's no longer necessary for people to have to pay a premium," DirecTV told CNN.com.

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Original headline: DirecTV drops The Weather Channel


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Source: Copyright 2014 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.


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