The Cable Wars Reach New Heights of Stupidity as DirecTV Drops The Weather Channel

weather channel

It seems that every few weeks there’s some new controversy about a cable provider and a channel going to war. Giants like CBS and AMC have slugged it out with the likes of Time Warner and Dish, and now DirecTV is fighting with…The Weather Channel? TWC’s CEO David Kenny accurately describes the situation:

“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.”

The root of all these controversies is that the channel wants the cable company to pay an increased rate to air their channel. The cable company doesn’t want to pay, which either would cut into their profits or make them raise their bills. They respond by pulling the channel, and everyone usually gets mad at them, not the channel. But this is reaching strange new places if DirecTV is going to war with The Weather Channel.

TWC is spinning this as DirecTV trying to “deny their viewers access to critical and potentially life-saving information in times of severe weather.” In other words, without The Weather Channel, people would have no idea they were about to be swept up by a tornado or run over by a hurricane. I think this is sort of a disingenuous stance to take, as there’s weather news on EVERY news channel, not to mention alerts that blanket cable when there’s a severe storm or event. And DirecTV has replaced them with a different weather channel anyway for the time being. I hardly think anyone is going to die as a result of this, even if DirecTV is probably being stupid as per usual.

What do you make of this?

[Photo via  Frederick M. Brown/Getty]

Paul Tassi is the Managing Editor of TVovermind and also manages the website Unrealitymag.com. He's contributed to major publications such as Forbes as well as BC Media Group properties.
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  • Jillxz

    I agree with Directv. I am a DTV subscriber and we don’t want a sometime weather channel. That is what TWC has become. It shows weather part time and Reality shows most of the time. I don’t watch it. I prefer the replacement WeatherNation because it is the way the Weather Channel use to be . A real weather channel. Now days , there are many many options for the weather.

  • John Brister

    I like the twc better. especially with the app on directv so you can check the weather while still watching your show at up to 5 different cities. wish they would hurry up and settle this. the channel they have now does not let you see your local weather. it really is aggravating.

  • John Brister

    I have never seen any reality shows on twc. a bunch of misinformation being put out by directv

  • Marc Ord

    I have personally had at least 4 times that I have needed information regarding critical weather info, and when I turned to TWC, they were broadcasting some reality show. I enjoy the new weather station, it’s just weather, as it should be. Perhaps TWC should re-evaluate its programming. Directv is justified in its decision.

  • Dale Leazer

    The Weather Channel should learn from Weather Nation an put weather BACK ON TV!! I don’t give a hoot about someone finding rocks in tha mountains. WEATHER!! PERIOD!!! Thats what I want.

  • Beverly Mashburn

    I want the weather channel back. You learn from it. You watch where bad weather is at, they explaiin how it is formed,and where its at, and how it efforts our land and our bodies. The shows that they show are great. Or I well be going to a nother net work. But I do know that we will be paying for this, our bills will be going up, you which.

  • Phil Lefler

    I just found Direct Tv also removed the weather from the listing where you can check the lotto numbers. I had our weather on there and where my daughter lives and Lake Tahoe/ Reno area.

  • Robert Myers

    I am a weather nerd and the one thing I love about The Weather Channel is how they do their live reporting on storms and tornadoes. I do agree, with Directv in one aspect, and that is when severe weather approaches an area, satellite users can not watch The Weather Channel or anything else, because the signal goes out. I rely on my storm spotter license and use the two radars I bought on my laptop for my info. I totally dislike their reality shows, but people need to remember, when severe weather strikes, they postpone their normal programming. I am not a fan of Weather Nation, but like I said, The Weather Channel needs to get back to what they do best. I also read, that The Weather Channel was asking for a penny increase per subscriber. Directv counter offered with a 20% decrease of what they were paying. Why is Directv raising their rates if they are going to low ball negotiations when other contracts come up?

  • Mary Anne Plank

    If I pay for DIRECT TV I would like the Weather Channel back on. I have been a fan of the Weather Channel and I am missing the Weather Channel. If others don’t like some of the show’s doesn’t mean that everyone dislikes Duck Dynasty and Prospector’s. So, I am one who likes the show’s. I will sorely miss the weather Channel.