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DIRECTV vs The Weather Channel: Day 2
Washington, D.C. (January 15, 2014) - The Weather Channel's top executive says his channel could stay off DIRECTV "for a long, long time," writes the Wall Street Journal.
The two companies have hit an impasse in new carriage agreement talks and The Weather Channel pulled its signal from DIRECTV at midnight ET on Tuesday. The channel says DIRECTV is demanding a reduction in its rates while the satcaster says The Weather Channel is asking for more money despite a shift from full-time live weather reports to a mix of live forecasts and reality shows.
David Kenney, The Weather Channel's CEO, says DIRECTV never "really seriously negotiated" in the current carriage talks, a sign that it's not serious about keeping The Weather Channel on the air.
DIRECTV has sharply criticized rising programming costs and has threatened to start dropping low-rated channels to save money. But The Wall Street Journal writes that the satcaster claims there have been ongoing discussions between "high-level executives...throughout the weekend, yesterday and today (Tuesday.)"
DIRECTV, on December 16, added Weather Nation TV, a lowly rated alternative to The Weather Channel, and placed it at channel 361, right next to The Weather Channel on channel 362, in apparent anticipation of this fee fight. And now DIRECTV has placed Weather Nation TV on both channels 361 and 362, a suggestion that viewers may not see a difference between Weather Nation and The Weather Channel.
DIRECTV tells WSJ that it has only lost 20 subscribers since the blackout.
Meanwhile, Accuweather has announced that it will launch a TV channel in the third quarter of this year in an obvious move to offer a less expensive alternative to The Weather Channel.
The Weather Channel has urged DIRECTV subscribers to contact their representatives in Congress to pressure DIRECTV to keep it on the air. The channel calls it a "public safety issue."
But DIRECTV says it offers city-by-city weather coverage on its local stations and weather alerts on emergency channels.
See Swanni's analysis: It's One Big Snow Job!
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