Weather Channel Drastically Cuts Reality Programming to Resolve DirecTV Dispute

Weather Channel Drastically Cuts Reality Programming to Resolve DirecTV Dispute

DirecTV pulled the plug on The Weather Channel on Jan. 14

The Weather Channel will return to DirecTV on Wednesday after a protracted carriage fee dispute that forced TWC to go dark on the satellite provider for nearly three months.

Also read: Your Unfair Cable Bill: Most Expensive Channels Aren't the Most Watched

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but people close to the negotiations say The Weather Channel will receive less than the one cent per subscriber increase in its carriage fee that the company initially wanted, according to the Wall Street Journal.

With an average carriage fee of 13 cents per subscriber before the dispute according to SNL Kagan, that would mean DirecTV will likely pay The Weather Channel a little over $2.6 million to resume providing the network to DirecTV's more than 20 million subscribers.

In a press release announcing the agreement, David Kenny, CEO of The Weather Channel's parent unit Weather Company, apologized to DirecTV and its users for the dispute.

Also read: DirecTV Drops The Weather Channel

“Our apologies to DIRECTV and their customers for the disruption of our service and for initiating a public campaign,” Kenny wrote.

“Our viewers deserve better than a public dispute, and we pledge to reward their loyalty with exceptional programming and more weather-focused news.”

Also read: The Weather Channel Taunts DirecTV in Full Page Ad

DirecTV pulled the plug on The Weather Channel on Jan. 14 after both sides could not reach a carriage agreement.

The network launched a series of attack ads against the satellite distributor, alleging that it put DirecTV's subscribers at risk by not providing them with the breaking 24-hour weather news the channel offers. But DirecTV claimed The Weather Channel had turned too far away from weather broadcasts, instead offering reality series like “Coast Guard Alaska” through primetime.

Also read: AMC Slapped With Lawsuit Over Carriage Dispute

In the joint press release, DirecTV Chief Content Officer Dan York express regret at the nasty public dispute.

“It's a shame these disputes are played out on a public stage, but I'm pleased that we've been able to work together with The Weather Channel in a way that will benefit everyone,” York wrote. “I know this was frustrating for many of our customers, but their patience was ultimately rewarded with a better deal and a better product.”

Also read: Sam Champion's Weather Channel Show Drops Further on Day 2

DirecTV signed a multi-year deal with weather alternative WeatherNation last week, which it added to replaced Weather Channel in January. Weather Channel will air on channel 362 — the same channel WeatherNation currently occupies.

Read the full joint press release from Weather Channel and DirecTV below:

The Weather Channel Returns to DIRECTV

Posted on April 8, 2014

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. & ATLANTA — The Weather Channel will return to DIRECTV (channel 362) tomorrow as both companies have settled on a new agreement, the financial terms of which were not disclosed.

As part of the new pact, The Weather Channel agreed to reduce reality programming by half on weekdays; return instant local weather and allow authenticated DIRECTV customers to watch The Weather Channel video programming on multiple devices inside and outside the home.

“Our apologies to DIRECTV and their customers for the disruption of our service and for initiating a public campaign,” said David Kenny, CEO of The Weather Company, parent to The Weather Channel. “Our viewers deserve better than a public dispute, and we pledge to reward their loyalty with exceptional programming and more weather-focused news.”

“It's a shame these disputes are played out on a public stage, but I'm pleased that we've been able to work together with The Weather Channel in a way that will benefit everyone,” said Dan York, DIRECTV's chief content officer. “I know this was frustrating for many of our customers, but their patience was ultimately rewarded with a better deal and a better product.”