DirecTV boots The Weather Channel from its lineup over fee dispute

directv removes the weather channel from its lineup over fee dispute set

When AMC locked horns with Dish Network, the hit television series Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead were at stake. And when CBS and Time Warner Cable played out their spat on the airwaves, Dexter and, to a much lesser extent, Under the Dome, were held hostage. But in this most recent Network-vs-Pay TV dispute, it is the riveting drama that is our nation’s weather hanging in the balance (also, some reality TV shows about heavy rescue operators in British Columbia) as DirecTV and The Weather Channel (TWC) find themselves at an impasse over contract negotiations. Earlier today, DirecTV removed TWC from its feed, suggesting subscribers head to WeatherNation, a relative newcomer to 24/7 weather coverage, instead. 

According to The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore, the dispute is over what amounts to a penny per subscriber. In a recent statement and video, the star meteorologist said, ” If you compare this cost to other networks, you’ll find we are one of the least expensive.” Cantore then goes on to suggest the its removal from DirecTV’s lineup potentially puts lives in jeopardy claiming that DirecTV has made a choice to “deny their viewers access to critical and potentially life-saving information in times of severe weather.”

DirecTV is taking a notably different position, claiming that TWC is actually asking for a lot more than just a penny per subscriber. The satellite service also calls into question the channel’s appeal to viewers, pointing out that weather information is freely available through multiple sources, including TWC’s own mobile device apps – something that significantly reduces the linear TV channel’s value to consumers. But beyond that, DirecTV is sharply critical of TWC’s move to frequently air reality TV shows. In a statement, the satellite TV provider said, “Most consumers don’t want to watch a weather information channel with a forecast of a 40 percent chance of reality TV.” 

It appears that, while TWC remains popular as a web-based source of weather information, its television presence is increasingly less relevant. According to Nielsen data, TWC’s viewership dropped 19% since 2011, though it did see a bump during the week of Jan 3 – 11, due to exceptionally cold weather in the US. Meanwhile, the broadcaster led as a weather brand on the web last year, attracting 37,400,000 unique visits in the month of June 2013 alone. 

While the numbers may appear to back up DirecTV, there appears to be a very vocal TWC viewership prepared to make known their dissatisfaction with DirecTV’s decision. TWC’s Cantore says he is overwhelmed by  “an extraordinary and overwhelming response, with hundreds of thousands of emails, faxes, calls to DIRECTV and posts on social media.” 

Whether this debate over the weather could stretch out as long as some previous network disputes have remains to be seen. Let us know what you think in the comments below: Is The Weather Channel over-valuing itself, or is DirecTV forsaking its customers by way of its own greed? 

Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Home Theater

What are HDMI ARC and eARC? Here’s how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC, as well as the next generation technology, eARC.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.
Deals

Need a smart speaker? Amazon knocks $50 off Sonos Beam soundbar with Alexa

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent smart sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Home Theater

Walmart abandons its plans for a streaming Netflix killer

Rumored plans for a Walmart owned, Vudu-labeled Netflix streaming killer have been shelved according to a new report from CNBC. The billions it would have needed to invest in order to compete apparently gave the mega retailer cold feet.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Plex is the latest player to contemplate the subscription streaming game

With massive reach thanks to its client app being supported virtually every media device on the planet, Plex is now looking at the future of its media curation platform. A future that may include free and subscription services.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Deals

Here’s a look at the hottest 4K TV deals for January 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.