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DIRECTV Could Lose The Weather Channel (Again)
By Swanni


Washington, D.C. (January 11, 2014) -
This is an update on our earlier coverage of DIRECTV's programming dispute with The Weather Channel. See earlier article below.

It appears that DIRECTV's attempt at quietly negotiating a new programming pact with The Weather Channel is all wet.

Deadline.com writes this morning that The Weather Channel has issued a press statement saying that it will pull the channel from DIRECTV's lineup at Tuesday, January 14 at 12:01 a.m. if a new deal is not signed. The current agreement was scheduled to expire at the end of 2013, but the channel has remained on the air.

When asked last week if a short-term agreement was signed while talks continued, DIRECTV refused to comment.

However, the silence has ended with The Weather Channel's statement which urges viewers to contact Congress to pressure DIRECTV to sign a new agreement. The Weather Channel claims this is a "public safety" issue.

"The Weather Channel launched a nationwide campaign to alert DIRECTV customers that they are at risk of losing access to its critical weather programming, and asking them to contact Congress about this public safety issue. If an agreement is not reached by Tuesday, January 14 at 12:01 a.m. ET, DIRECTV viewers will lose access to the 24/7/365 national and hyperlocal weather information that The Weather Channel provides to consumers and communities across the country," the statement reads.

DIRECTV has still not issued a comment, but on December 16, the satcaster added The Weather Nation, a lowly rated alternative to The Weather Channel, and placed it at channel 361, right next to The Weather Channel on channel 362.

This move was not unseen by The Weather Channel who apparently believes The Weather Nation is not a suitable alternative.

"As the most trusted source of weather news and information in America, The Weather Channel is there when it matters most. If we are not available to DIRECTV’s 20 million viewers, they will miss the accurate and life-saving information we have been providing for more than 30 years,” said David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Company, parent company of The Weather Channel. “We have offered the industry’s best rate for our programming and are committed to reaching an agreement.”



DIRECTV has still not issued a comment, but on December 16, the satcaster added The Weather Nation, a lowly rated alternative to The Weather Channel, and placed it at channel 361, right next to The Weather Channel on channel 362.

This move was not unseen by The Weather Channel who apparently believes The Weather Nation is not a suitable alternative.

"As the most trusted source of weather news and information in America, The Weather Channel is there when it matters most. If we are not available to DIRECTV’s 20 million viewers, they will miss the accurate and life-saving information we have been providing for more than 30 years,” said David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Company, parent company of The Weather Channel. “We have offered the industry’s best rate for our programming and are committed to reaching an agreement.”

See earlier article on this controversy below.

News
Will DIRECTV Drop The Weather Channel?
By Swanni


Washington, D.C. (December 29, 2013) -
DIRECTV's carriage agreement with The Weather Channel expires at the end of the year and a recent addition to the satcaster's lineup could be a signal that it's ready to drop the channel.

On December 16, DIRECTV added The Weather Nation, a lowly rated alternative to The Weather Channel, and placed it at channel 361, right next to The Weather Channel on channel 362.

The Los Angeles Times notes that the sudden addition of The Weather Nation could either be a negotiation ploy by DIRECTV or a backup in case talks with The Weather Channel fall through.

If it's a gambit, it has precedent. Dish in 2010 added The Weather Nation while it was negotiating a new deal with The Weather Channel. The two sides were able to work out an agreement and The Weather Nation soon left Dish's airwaves.

Also of interest: DIRECTV CFO Patrick Doyle recently said at the company's 'investors day' meeting in New York that the company was prepared to drop low-rated channels to save money on programming costs. The Los Angeles Times writes that The Weather Channel, despite its high-profile in the media, averages only around 200,000 viewers every day.

Doyle's statement -- and the addition of The Weather Nation -- could both be serving as notices that DIRECTV is ready to move on without The Weather Channel if it demands too much to carry it in a new programming agreement.


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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com. He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at
swann@tvpredictions.com or at 703-505-3064.



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