Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dear Weather Channel and DirecTV - stop it.

This is getting awfully tiring.

Last August, we went through this with Time Warner and CBS.

Back in 2010, it was Dish and News Corp.

And now, we have Keep the Weather Channel.

For over 30 years, The Weather Channel has been the most trusted resource for disseminating timely information to help prepare and protect families across the nation against weather-related emergencies. But now DIRECTV is threatening to remove this critical life-saving community resource from 20 million households. We’re working hard to reach an agreement with DIRECTV to keep The Weather Channel in its lineup. You can help!

Yes, I can help. Here's how I can help:

If you are a DIRECTV subscriber, cancel your DIRECTV immediately. Oh, and don't bother to sign up with Dish or Time Warner or anyone else, because later in 2014, or in 2015, or at some point, you'll have this issue with the Weather Channel again.

Oh, and for your weather, just go to Granted, you won't get any reality shows...but reality shows aren't real anyway.

Of course, everyone and their mother knows what the real issue is here. DirecTV has to pay a certain amount of money to The Weather Channel to get its programming. Neither side has revealed exactly how much this payment is. The Weather Channel would obviously like to get more money from DirecTV. DirecTV would obviously like to pay less to The Weather Channel. That's what all of these dustups are about.

But Rodney Ho reveals that DirecTV took an additional step - one that really got The Weather Channel riled up.

On December 16, 2013, DirecTV added a network called WeatherNation, a competitor to Atlanta-based The Weather Channel, and placed it side by side on the channel dial.

Clearly, DirecTV made this move as leverage. The network said there is no public safety issue because WeatherNation, presumably a cheaper option for DirecTV, can provide weather news as well.

“Customers will continue to get round-the-clock hard weather news, free of any interruptions from reality TV, on Weather Nation,” DirecTV said.


So now the Weather Channel has to face lower-cost competition from DirecTV itself - and therefore wants Congress to intervene.

I'm still waiting - and have been waiting since August - for the Weather Channel and others to pay ME to watch their programming.

But now we have this new wrinkle from DirecTV, where they're setting up their own channels. Will they pay me to watch them?
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