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20 million DirecTV customers lose The Weather Channel

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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Drew January 14 2014 at 9:56 AM

The weather channel became an entertainment network long ago with only a fraction of time devoted to reporting the weather. They can no longer use the argument that they are a vital resource. This new weather network Directv has provides the service weather channel formerly did. Our family had already begun watching the new network weeks ago and were unaware the WC was off the air. Weather channel makes tons of money for NBC now selling advertising during their entertainment shows and wants to raise rates for cable providers on top of that to further line their pockets. The idea they would accuse directv of this is the pot calling the kettle black.

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stroserv Drew January 14 2014 at 10:00 AM

I agree Drew. Since when is Coast Guard Alaska or Highway through Hell a public service? Looks like they have "Winter Storm Inept" on their screen.

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Vicki January 14 2014 at 9:58 AM

why bother, every time I go to tune in for weather, some stupid outdoors program is on.

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hmstrtch Vicki January 14 2014 at 11:58 AM

That's my beef also, plus their trend toward full blown global warming advocacy. It's gotten so bad whenever I tune in anymore I get anything BUT the weather. But the 'day the music died' for me was the day I tuned in and they were broadcasting live coverage of Obama's speach on global warming. Adios, amigo.

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treesgyrl January 14 2014 at 9:58 AM

We didn't have cable for a year (by choice) and didn't miss The Weather Channel at all. I never watch The Weather Channel. I rely on our local news stations for the weather forecast.

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PAM ZELAZNIK January 14 2014 at 9:59 AM

drop the so called reality shows! ITS THE WEATHER CHANNEL ,REALLY!!!

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ebg3fla January 14 2014 at 10:05 AM

I like Jim Cantore. You have to admit he is a storm ho! He's never missed being in major storms, blizzards and hurricanes. Keep up the good work, Jim. It's always a pleasure seeing you in the storms.

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1 reply
pdgrovebaskets ebg3fla January 14 2014 at 10:33 AM

What is a storm ho? It sounds like more of an insult than a compliment.

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ebg3fla pdgrovebaskets January 14 2014 at 11:41 AM

Take it whichever way you think it is.

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Jay January 14 2014 at 10:07 AM

Let the Government dispute all our problems

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ruggerkurt January 14 2014 at 10:10 AM

This is happening all over spectrum of channels and this will not be the end of it. This is why your cable bill is over $100 a month and climbing. We need to have an opportunity to choose the channels we pay for and watch without paying for all the other crap which we skim over! Alacarte is the way to go and we need to force the cable cos. to accept it.

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judy ruggerkurt January 14 2014 at 10:18 AM

I am waiting for this to happen.. I hate paying for all the stuff i NEVER watch.. any idea when it will happen? probably not in my lifetime..

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wtbclb87 January 14 2014 at 10:11 AM

This is not the only channel Directv has dropped, just a few weeks ago they also dropped Soapnet. Also they do not offer ME TV, memorable entertainment. We have been with them for 7 years, but when our latest contract expires we will be moving on to a new source....tired of missing out.

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1 reply
jsingerso1 wtbclb87 January 14 2014 at 10:16 AM

Everyone dropped Soapnet. It isn't any longer available for anyone which is regrettable.

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johnrivard115 January 14 2014 at 10:13 AM

In The Days of the Old-Rabbit Ears content was FREE, Never a Problem

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1 reply
Henry ptnm johnrivard115 January 14 2014 at 10:41 AM

Also in the days of the Rabbit- Ears, there was an rotary antenna on the roof of the house. You turn the antenna with a device that was on top of the TV. If you go through the neighborhood and look at the older houses that were there during those years, you might see rusted antennas still there on the roof or a rusted base where there was an antenna. There were TV men who used to go to houses to fix the TVs. They replaced the tubes that blew out and fixed TVs. Of all the TV men in my neighborhood, there are two still alive. Both of these men are in their 80's or 90's. New TVs are different. Digitial, micro-circuitry. flat screen. No tubes. Those were the days in the 50's, 60's and 70's. It was a pain owning a TV those days.

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jneal11254 January 14 2014 at 10:13 AM

Direct TV is probably the most despised American corporation, and its CEO is enormously unpopular with the employees. That being said, I agree with the statement that Weather Channel runs far too many reality shows. It is incredibly aggravating when I sign on needing information and one of its reality shows is running. At least they could find a way to keep weather on the 8s.

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