20 million DirecTV customers lose The Weather Channel

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20 million DirecTV customers lose The Weather Channel
NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: In this handout image provided by The Weather Channel, Jim Cantore, an on-camera meteorologist for The Weather Channel, reports on Hurricane Irene from Battery Park August 28, 2011 in New York City. The center of the hurricane made land fall at Coney Island in New York causing flooding in parts of the city. (Jonathan Saruk/The Weather Channel via Getty Images)
FILE - In a July 30, 1981 photo, Frank Batten, publisher of the Norfolk, Va., Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, and chairman and chief executive of Landmark Communications, Inc., left, and John Coleman, ABC-TV's Good Morning America' meteorologist, show the new live continuous 24-hour weather channel on cable television during a news conference, July 30, 1981 in New York. Batten, who built a communications empire that spanned newspapers and cable television and created The Weather Channel, has died. Landmark vice chairman Richard F. Barry III says Batten died early Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009 in Norfolk, Va., after a prolonged illness.He was 82. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR THE WEATHER CHANNEL - In this image released on Friday, March 14, 2014, Sam Champion introduces his husband Rubem Robierb to guests at his 'Welcome to Atlanta' reception at the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta. (Paul Abell / AP Images for The Weather Channel)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: In this handout image provided by The Weather Channel, Jim Cantore, an on-camera meteorologist for The Weather Channel, reports on Hurricane Irene from Battery Park August 28, 2011 in New York City. The center of the hurricane made land fall at Coney Island in New York causing flooding in parts of the city. (Jonathan Saruk/The Weather Channel via Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 11: David Clark, President, The Weather Channel, and weather anchor and managing editor Sam Champion, speak onstage during the 'New Morning Show on The Weather Channel' ' panel discussion at The Weather Channel portion of the 2014 Winter Television Critics Association tour at the Langham Hotel on January 11, 2014 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- About 20 million DirecTV customers nationwide lost The Weather Channel because of a dispute over fees between the channel and the satellite service.

The two companies pointed fingers at each other late Monday as a midnight EST deadline for renegotiation of carriage fees paid by DirecTV to The Weather Channel passed without an agreement.

In a statement, David Kenny, CEO of the channel's parent company, The Weather Co., said it offered DirecTV the best rate for its programming. Kenny accused the satellite provider of putting profits ahead of public safety.

"We are not looking for a large fee increase," Kenny said, just a "fair deal" that allows for continued investment in science and technology to deliver weather news and stories to viewers.

DirecTV called the loss of The Weather Channel "regrettable" but added that it would continue to provide weather news on its WeatherNation channel.

According to a statement from Dan York, DirecTV chief content officer, the two sides haven't stopped talking.

DirecTV is discussing an agreement to return the channel to its lineup at "the right value for our customers," York said. The Weather Channel did not immediately respond early Tuesday to a request for comment.

At a news conference Saturday, David Clark, president of The Weather Channel, asked viewers to urge Congress to intervene in the business dispute.

The channel is part of the NBC Universal stable of networks and is owned by Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company.

"Yes, it is a privately held company and a for-profit" enterprise, Clark said. "That's OK. What also happens to be true is that we have a mission to serve."

DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said that the satellite service launched its own service, WeatherNation, in response to consumer complaints about the amount of reality programs that The Weather Channel airs instead of weather forecasting.

Local weather information also is available on local network affiliates offered by DirecTV, and during severe weather, the system also makes its emergency channels available for weather programming, he said.

The Weather Channel Slams DirecTV In Stormy Contract Fight

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