The Weather Channel Taunts DirecTV in Full Page Ad

The Weather Channel Taunts DirecTV in Full Page Ad

Weather Channel CEO David Kenny slammed DirecTV Wednesday in a full page ad featured in several major newspapers

The spat between The Weather Channel and DirecTV just got a lot uglier.

In a scornful full page ad published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, Weather Channel CEO David Kenny slammed DirecTV?s chairman and CEO Michael White's decision to drop the channel and insisted that DirecTV not punish viewers who decided to unsubscribe over the squabble.

See video: Jimmy Kimmel Reminds Viewers Just How Sensitive Los Angeles Reporters Are To ‘Cold’ Weather

“Many thousands have called your customer service centers asking to terminate their contracts since they are now getting less content for the same price,” Kenny sniped. “But DirecTV is threatening them with termination fees of $200 to $400.”

“Your customers were never given a vote about DirecTV?s decision to drop The Weather Channel,” he added. “The least you can do is allow them to vote now with their feet by waiving termination fees for those seeking to switch to a provider that still carries The Weather Channel, as every other pay-TV company in the nation does.”

See video: TheWrap Reminds Los Angeles Reporters What Cold Weather Actually Looks Like

The Weather Channel is demanding DirecTV pay an additional 1 cent per month per subscriber. DirecTV refused and has replaced the network with WeatherNation, something TWC calls “a cheap start-up that does weather forecasting on a three-hour taped loop, has no field coverage, no weather experts.”

?Consumers understand there are now a variety of other ways to get weather coverage, free of reality show clutter, and that The Weather Channel does not have an exclusive on weather coverage ? the weather belongs to everyone,” DirecTV said in a statement.

In a statement to The Wrap, Weather Channel executive vice president of corporate communications Shirley Powell explained the vitriol behind the letter.

“We wrote this public letter to fight for our viewers,” Powell wrote. “We find it disappointing and unfair to them that they want to see The Weather Channel and yet cannot afford DirecTV's onerous cancellation fees. DirecTV can't have it both ways – reducing the value of their offering by dropping The Weather Channel, while at the same time raising prices to consumers. Any customer who thinks that's a raw deal ought to be able to switch to a different provider without facing an unaffordable penalty. Viewers shouldn't be held hostage.”

Also readWeather Channel Calls on Congress in DirecTV Dispute

“The Weather Channel is so used to dramatizing the weather, they may have lost all sense of reality,” DirecTV's Robert Mercer fired back.

Read the full ad below:

January 22, 2014

Mr. Michael D. White
Chairman, CEO and President
DIRECTV

Just before midnight on January 13, DIRECTV customers lost access to The Weather Channel. Since then, over 4 million customers have come to keeptheweatherchannel.com to express their frustration. Over 400,000 have called and emailed DIRECTV. And over 90,000 have pledged to switch providers.

Many thousands have called your customer service centers asking to terminate their contracts since they are now getting less content for the same price. But DIRECTV is threatening them with termination fees of $200 to $400.

We have heard from viewers across the country, like Heather in Texas who wrote, ?We just signed on with DIRECTV.?Had I known this was going to happen I would NOT have signed up. I read the fine print (too late) and found that they can do that. It?s wrong.?

We agree. Fairness ought to trump the fine print in your contracts.

The decision to switch providers is never taken lightly. Those who are trying to do so clearly believe The Weather Channel is a valued resource for their families. They are people like @jlawson2011, who tweeted ?The Weather Channel saved my life when there was severe weather in my area. Tornado imminent + TWC warning to hide.?

These viewers — your customers — value the fact that since 1982 The Weather Channel has been relying upon the National Weather Service for watches and warnings, which we deliver on a hyper-local basis through our proprietary localization technology.

Your customers were never given a vote about DIRECTV?s decision to drop The Weather Channel. The least you can do is allow them to vote now with their feet by waiving termination fees for those seeking to switch to a provider that still carries The Weather Channel, as every other pay-TV company in the nation does.

Our preference would be for DIRECTV to come back to the negotiating table and restore The Weather Channel to your line up. But as you seem intent on proving a point at the expense of your customers? interests, then at least allow them to make their own choices without unaffordable penalties.

As our team of more than 220 expert meteorologists tracks winter storms, wildfires in Southern California, and many other potential weather emergencies, a prompt reply?not to me, but to your customers?would surely be appreciated.

Sincerely,
David W. Kenny
Chairman and CEO
The Weather Company

  • Michael

    This is outrageous, now I am going to have to have those window thingys installed in my wall so I can look outside and see what the weather is. That or watch my local news& weather report.

  • David

    Meh, I'm on Direct T.V.s side. The weather channel isn't even weather anymore, I don't turn on the Weather channel to watch shows…

    • C-Law

      Yeah I have DirecTV and don't miss weather channel at all. Any time I tried to use it instead of my phone for the weather the past few years, I've given up bc some bullshit reality crap is on

      • SamyyCiao

        I was one of Direct TV first cusotmers back in 1992 in NJ – gave them up in late 2013 service has become awful – operators are at home and can not do much for you – price for NFL ticket goes up and up unless the trick you for first year then bang for ever on – for me most big Steeler games are on national TV ones that are not I will just listen on the radio and watch Comcast Red Zone rather than pay those highway robbery charges!

  • Cramwell Stephan

    I've said it for years – The Weather Channel is the MTV of weather.

    • Dr. X

      it's getting there. CNN is already there. Drop MTV

      • Cramwell Stephan

        Al-A-Cart would be my preference.

    • steve baker

      Maybe the Disney Jr of weather?

  • Burphelson AFB

    the Weather Channel is learning Greed is NOT Good.

  • carson

    Not that anyone reads this but please dont settle the issue. i'd rather save a .05 a month and not have another GD channel I don't watch.

    • DarkStarr

      Too bad you're saving nothing at all. Just because they dropped the channel doesn't mean your bill goes down, in fact it likely recently went up or will soon.

  • max

    gee directv loses again! i worked with them for years! and went through losing several channels including local news . eventuallythey would get most of them back . I watch the news everyday and in an emergency I would look at the Weather Channel even though ” it's the MTV of weather channels ” drama drama drama lol I feel bad that I talked so many people out of giving up there is service for DIRECTV as of now I am with AT&T which has everything that DirecTV has except for rain fade . and things that they don't like wireless receivers and the Internet ?
    the coolest thing that I found with my stat late was that the on the base of it I could attach CCTV cameras so I could see everything outside

  • Jimmy

    This wreaks of desperation on the part the WC. Since I never watch the WC on my cable service, even during really bad weather, I can't imagine the vast majority of DTV subscribers care one bit about this. If it's weather they're looking for WC Is not the place to find it unless there's a major storm going on, and even then local stations would be a better option.

  • edgar

    I have actually written to Directv and informed them I refuse to pay an extra penny to have them keep weather channel, and if they try to raise my rates to keep them I an terminating service. I have no need for the reality tv channel that used to be weather channel.

  • JoeLearner

    Put me on the Weather Channel side, but honestly, I don't watch. However, I do use DirecTV, and I think if DirecTV chooses to drop programming that I find important, they should allow me to drop their service without a termination charge. That goes for temporary disagreements as well. I pay my bill and if you decide you don't want to provide the content we agreed upon when I signed up, then you changed our contract, and I should be given an out.

    • mattriffle

      Except they didn't change your contract — it most certainly has fine print allowing for this to happen.

      I have no dog in this fight (ex-DirecTVer who doesn't watch the Weather Channel anyway) but it really seems like The Weather Channel is overplaying their hand here, considering all the other ways one can get their weather forecasts.

      • flubalubaful

        a few people have gone on about the fine print but in reality what they have stated would not stand up in a court of law, they are providing a service and any court would agree that a sentence hidden away in 10 pages of terms and conditions cannot take away a person right to receive a service they have paid for, especially if that service is enough for them to want to cancel the contract they have. Other than that i can see many many people just waiting for their contracts to expire before moving, this could cost direct tv a hell of a lot of customers in the long run and possibly create an environment where they have no option but to increase prices which would make more and more people leave resulting in more price increases thus the cycle continues, there are so many issues cable is suffering with cable cutters you would think they did everything in their power to stop the bleeding of customers , but their arrogance and greed is really nothing more than their own destruction caused by themselves and not even by the better services everyone can get on the internet.

      • Cramwell Stephan

        I think they are assuming people watch the weather channel.

        • David Disher

          I call the weather channel the IMPACT channel. they love the words impact, impactful, and impactfully and slavishly adhere to the global warming crud.

    • jackeyb

      It's in the contract you signed , they plainly state they have the right to drop or add channels.

      • JoeLearner

        That should have to withstand a legal challenge. It seems odd that it is allowed they could write a contract in a way where they don't have to commit on their end, but I have to on mine.

  • David Aldana

    As long as the internet exists, why is the Weather Channel even needed?

  • Jane17

    I don't understand TWC's reasoning. They r saying that direct tv won't settle for a penny more and this is hurting their customers. Well if TWC really cared abt THEIR customers like they want us all to believe than why can't THEY settle w/o the penny increase. I mean really they r making it sound like it is life or death if pple can't get their station and r soooo concerned!!! If that's really the case( which we all know is propaganda) then stop ur dispute of raising prices by a stupid penny. It's all corporate GREED trying to mask itself for concern. Good I'm happy somebody is calling their bluff!!!

  • Sunshine1011

    Did we get to vote when the weather channel decided to STOP showing weather and show us non stop ads and their “storm stories”???

  • Rick Ramey

    I get my weather the same place everybody else does, from my phone. Not from some reality TV channel.

    • Dr. X
  • sam graves

    I have internet, and more commonly used, apps for that. Who needs TWC on TV?

    • Skitch

      Oh…you mean like THE WEATHER CHANNEL app?

      • sam graves

        No, no I don't. I use some apps but that isn't one of them. But even if it were the app has nothing to do with their DTV troubles. The app is supported by ads if I recall.

      • mattriffle

        That and dozens of others. But really, the fact that anybody with Web access and/or a smartphone can get Weather Channel forecasts for free is more evidence of how they've undercut themselves here.

  • qwertyyqwertt

    All the watches, warnings, and forecast models TWC gets are from the U.S. National Weather Service. weather.gov is the best place to get a forecast, plus it doesn't have any ads or those stupid “10 AMAZING pictures of clouds” headlines weather.com has.

  • Tituscrow

    Directv is SO over priced to begin with. Their customer service sucks, BUT, their line up and set up is great. I've been being ripped off by them since they were Prime Star. I hate them but I love their programming as I said. If someone out there knows of a better pay for TV, please, please let me know. The weather channel, who cares. The weather people here in St. Louis, Mo. Can't get it right about 98% of the time anyway, no matter what channel. Pretty pathetic that we're even discussing it. Just shoot me now.

    • SmokeyBehr

      Actually, PrimeStar was a totally separate company that was bought by DirecTV.

    • Jillxz

      I disagree about Directv's customer service. I has been good to me. One of the best out of Satellite and cable.

  • Axtell71

    Maybe if the Weather Channel hadn't devoted over half their channel to reality TV, I might see their point. As it is, they no longer focus exclusively on the weather and let's be honest folks, it doesn't take a ‘team’ to cover the weather. If I can open an app on my smartphone and get the same forecast the weather channel is giving me, tell me again why I need the weather channel?

  • Eddie Vedder

    Someone said it below and its actually VERY TRUE. I sign a contract to pay you for a package, you change what you give me, the contract is void. People should be able to cancel with no penalty. I actually do hope someone takes Direct TV to court over this.

    • Confused Consumer

      Unfortunately when you sign a DTV contract you sign a contract with conditions in which you give YOUR permission for them to change programming as they see fit and without notice. I honestly don't understand how anyone can get mad at something they gave permission for and agreed to by signing ahead of time.

      • Ultra Chill Guy

        You don't understand huh? You really can't understand why people might not have read the fine print? What if I told you most people don't read the fine print of the products and services they use? If you did read all those terms and conditions, you'd end up wasting countless hours comparing the terms of many different companies and you'd likely be pretty confused as to the exact meaning of a lot of what is written there.

        Your terms have to be reasonable and are always up the interpretation by a court.

        • Jim

          You don't think it is reasonable that channels come and go? What about SoapNet that just went off the air because Disney ended the service, or ESPN3D. Is that Comcast's fault or Directv's fault? Should customers be allowed out of their contracts in that situation as well? What if I have an iPhone and an app that I love no longer is available and taken down by the iTunes store. Should I be able to break my AT&T contract?

        • jackeyb

          It doesn't matter if the consumer reads it or not, that signature & agreement is all they need. Your lack of attention and reading of the contract isn't required to enforce a contract. You sign it, you own it.

        • Jillxz

          Too bad you mand others don't take the time to read the fine print. It's there and it's your own fault for not reading it .

    • Mansgame

      Eddie, I thought Vitology was your best album. Also, did you read all the fine print in your contract? i doubt it.

    • Jim

      So using that logic, when Directv or any other provider ADDS a channel, they should be able to raise your prices immediately every time they do it to cover that cost? I have a feeling you don't want that side of the argument. Channels are subject to change.

    • Jillxz

      Directv has the right when their contract ends , to either accept the raise or to take off the channel. It is THEIR right and they HAVE NOT changed what they gave you. Besides ,they replaced TWC with another REAL 24/7 weather channel. You haven't missed a thing. And nobody will take Directv to court because most don't care.

  • Donna

    Whenever there is a weather event like hurricanes, tornadoes, snow, tropical storms, etc, I count on THE WEATHER CHANNEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    it is beyond me why YOU have been STUPID enough to remove them. Shame on you.

    • Temprano

      Donna,
      If the Weather Channel is your only source for emergency information – shame on YOU!! If you have Directv, you still have options to get news about weather events in your area. Here's something SMART that YOU can do: buy yourself a weather radio with the S.A.M.E. technology that will allow your weather radio to alert you when severe weather threatens your specific county. Ultimately, YOU are responsible for the safety of yourself and your family – not Directv or TWC.

      • Kasidy

        Donna sign up fir SMS text alerts that's what I did

  • Mansgame

    illogical to say “you're getting less content for same price” because had they kept the weather channel, their prices would have likely gone up. Besides, the weather channel is outdated. Anybody with a smart phone can see instantly what the weather is outside and what it will be every hour.

  • Scott Ho

    | As our team of more than 220 expert meteorologists tracks winter storms

    Do you really need 220 experts to interpret weather.gov? Shoot me already.

  • Tom

    I think everyone who is commenting on this is missing a pretty big point. The fact is that people are paying the same amount of money for less shows. DirecTV could drop any channel for all I care but what irks me is the fact they won't lower their prices for less tv. It isn't right.

    • Doug

      It's not less programming, just different. They replaced one channel for another. If they had dropped TWC and not put up something else, then I would agree.

      • Jillxz

        Exactly.

  • Owen Peters

    The Weather Channel is fluff. Not my words, words of meteorologists that I know that are with them now. Tune to your local news and weather for major incidents

  • isthisrob

    Weather Nation is much better because they talk about, you know, the weather.

  • Steve Russo

    As
    a professional Astronomer and former meteorologist for more that two
    decades, I watched the Weather Channel from day one. But in the past few
    years I got so tired of ditsy fashion model forecasters, over
    sensationalizing of common weather events, telling viewers that every
    weather event was due to man-made global warming and man-made climate
    change, the dumb naming of winter storms, and stupid programs like
    Prospectors. How nice and refreshing that DirecTV switched to
    WeatherNation so I can watch weather without having it look like reality
    TV!

  • fergy

    Umm, when there is sever weather in my area I no longer get DirectTV so what's their point again?

    • fergy

      severe (spelling)

    • Jillxz

      In severe weather you most probably don't get any TV because of a power outage.

  • Davidson05

    I'm a loyal DIRECTV subscriber for years. Having been abused off and on by Dish, DIRECTV is hands down the best SAT provider out there. Do I wish they still had the Weather Channel? Yes, it was good, accurate coverage. Do I like the reality programming Weather Channel has gone to, NO, not really. Weather is weather, you can't really dramatize it.
    I think the solution is for Weather Channel to spin off another channel that covers the reality side, while leaving the original Weather Channel to report the weather.
    Is all this enough to get me to drop DIRECTV, NO WAY.

    My two cents, thanks.

  • RHONDA

    I am a Direc-TV customer and like many others I prefer “WAKING UP WITH AL” Also come on Weather Channel if u care about us just drop the penny, which I'm sure some how we will end up paying the price meaning “THE CONSUMERS”

  • Kauiipo

    Well, that explains a lot here! We live in an area that has one of the most bipolar weather and rely on the weather channel, what feels like hours in any given day. We here in Weld county CO get blizzards, flooding, heat waves, massive wind storms, and tornadoes at any point in the day. My family needs this to be safe from mother nature. Now we also have additional alarm systems out there to help with notifications as well but, when I am home with my family I want to be able to watch the weather. FAIL Direct TV!

  • UnknownVariable

    As a former Technician for DirecTv, I know they monitor who is watching what, and the cost of TWC is staggering, for such little ratings, I can understand DirecTv's point, However, as a Florida resident, hurricans, and severe weather are commonplace, and TWC delivers during any emergency, unlike the commercial whore local news channel, 15-20 min. of commercials during a severe storm is just too long to wait for news that could save lives. When TWC is not streaming doppler, all's usualy well. So, since they provide life saving information, emergency alert reliability, I feel that some sort of Government subsidy ought to be allowed to keep TWC on all/every provider of broadcast television. Just my opinion.

  • Chris Papademetrious

    This is going to put a dent in TWC's storm-naming budget.

    TWC can't decide if it's about weather or reality shows these days. And, I made the mistake of adding a TiVo season pass for one of TWC's reality shows. Half the time, the episodes don't record because they preempt them with “breaking news” on the latest named storm.

    They need to decide what they are, and stick to it.

  • Ben Velez

    I've watched WeatherNation for a few days now and it sucks. I know TWC had a lot of fluff but what I loved the most is the on field reporting. From Katrina to Sandy. Knowing these folks are out there in the thick of things bringing us reports and updates is awesome and appreciated. As I'm writing this WeatherNation is boring me. I get TWC had some reality shows that were to be honest boring. However some were actually pretty good. Idk I guess I like my weathermen to have personality and expertise. Again Idk…I'm probably not going to run and drop directv now, but it's a pain point. I mean if you're gonna raise my rates at least keep the channels we like. It doesn't make any sense to raise rates but at the same time lower the quality of programing. Hopefully they can get this worked out.

    • Jillxz

      The thing about this is that there are so few people who want Directv to keep the weather channel. Most are glad or either just don't care. Most just want that RED button and that will be here soon .

  • AK

    “The Weather Channel is demanding DirecTV pay an additional 1 cent per month per subscriber. DirecTV refused and has replaced the network with WeatherNation, something TWC calls “a cheap start-up that does weather forecasting on a three-hour taped loop, has no field coverage, no weather experts.”

    You know what else WeatherNation doesn't have? Reality TV shows.

  • C-Law

    Im on DirecTV's side. The weather channel has been awful for a while now. I won't leave DirecTV for a god awful channel.

  • jackeyb

    It's very plain in the contract you sign with DirectV, they can change the channel line-up at anytime, add or drop channels. Beside Weather Channel is the MTV of weather, little weather reporting but tons of reality. Also, TWC needs to realize they aren't a big deal at all, They aren't AMC, HBO, or ESP, etc…. Can't pull those kind of shots when you're a D lister of channels.

  • Muggy C

    If you take anything away from this whole Direct TV/Weather Channel situation, let it be how childish and immature the Weather Channel looks when attacking Weather Nation and it's Meteorologists. TWC is acting like a petulant child in all of this. All these Tweets, Facebook Posts and now full page ads are reminiscent of someone running for office and their political attack ads. I have Direct TV, and even if TWC comes back, I would never, ever watch it again now over the way they've acted during all of this. They showed their true, arrogant colors. Good Riddance!

  • Dr. X

    Just cancel your service. trash the dish and receiver. Fat chance on Directv collecting their termination fee.

    • Jillxz

      They will use your charge card or your debit card that you have listed on your account to get their termination fee. They will take it out of your charge account. trust me , they will. better pay it nicely.

      • Dr. X

        report your card lost. Trust me. i have Directv, but this issue isn't pissing me off

  • Nyrol

    Wait, the weather network only has a 24 hour news stream of weather. Every 10 minutes is local weather, and in between the 2 minute streams of local weather are weather news and long range forecast and travel forecasts and the such. I have never once seen a show that wasn't weather on the channel. Even in the TV guide it just says “Weather” as 1 show for 24 hours a day.

    • Jillxz

      I like WeatherNation but their terrain map is so dark I can't see the outline of a lot of the states and names are too small . They need light colored flat maps and not a globe with a map on it. I tweeted to one of the metorologists about this several times. One asked me to send him a picture of a flat map that I thought was attractive and lol and behold I sent him a picture of TWC maps. Oh god I hate that . I lost a follower , lol.

  • Jeff

    Read all the below….but, there are those of us who are addicted to TWC. Been a fan since 1984 and can't get enuf. I do not watch the foolishness (“reality” shows) but when it's on the line those to away anyway. Sorry DTV. Been a fan. Not a fan. Always goes out when the rain gets hard anyway.

  • D. Dancer

    There are two sides; The Weather Channel upped their price and Directv didn't feel the price increase was in the best interest of their customer. Like others have said, I'll go on-line or use my Weather Channel app. I won't be switching providers.

  • Zito Van Buren

    Hopefully WeatherNation beats the Anthropogenic Global Warming drum as hard as TWC. Whatever would I do without my daily dose of human-caused catastrophe?

  • oldie

    I have local cable and can't terminate my contract b/c of lack of channels without paying a termination fee. Both sides are about money. The WC is delusional if they think they are the only way for people to get weather. What do people do without cable tv or direct tv to find out about the weather?? point is, they know what the weather will do. Also, I have the Weather Channel and it is usually reality TV or storm stories. I get better weather forecasts from local channels. If I lost the Weather Channel, it would not bother me.

  • Mase

    What offends me is The Weather Channel trying to take their lost argument out of the board room and stoop to tactics like, get congress involved to force Direct TV. {make a law so consumers have to buy our product. TWC lost forecasting weather a long time ago and jumped on drama TV programing. Killer rain drops, dangerous snow flakes. Intellicast is much better.

  • Chop Doc

    I have directv and am glad they dropped the weather channel. The weather channel forgot they are suppose to show the weather, instead they are too worried about shows like storm stories and making that moron Jim Cantore a super star. I got to the point I wouldn't even turn them on anymore.

  • steve baker

    But if we didn't have the Weather Channel how would the people here in Northern MN ever know the garbage pickup schedule during a hurricane in FL? (Yes, they really did.)

  • 33vmuh

    If the Weather Channel is so concerned about their viewer's welfare, the Weather Channel should pay the termination fees.

  • Jaime

    I'm definitely in the weather channels side. I was one if the victims if the Laplata tornado April 28 2002 and the weather channel saved my life. Who knew an EF4 tornado could hit my area. But twc called it.. The weather channel since then has been part of my life and became part if me weather is my life and this weather nation channel is just depressing me. Please bring the weather channel back direct tv!!! Please dropping the weather channel without a customer vote was selfish and inconsiderate and, ONE CENT DIRECTV???? SERIOUSLY all that for ONE CENT??? geez…

    • Reina

      Yessssssss!!!! AMEN!!! Directv sucks anyway!!! They better bring it back by March… & they helped prepare me for Superstorm Sandy&WeatherNation More like WeatherNOPE

  • Killian Goetowski

    Remember when Viacom wanted extra billions for DirecTV to carry Nickelodeon and everything else? Remember when DirecTV said “No way. In fact, we're going to give our subscribers free Disney channels, so parents don't get upset about losing Nick Jr.”? That's a thing that happened.

  • pbt140

    The beginning of the end to The Weather Channel. All I want is local weather and radar not reality shows.

  • Kellie

    I hate direct tv. The new weather channel they have sucks.

  • Nance Metcalf

    I love TWC ad because it alerts consumers to the tactics Direct TV uses. I had Direct TV for 3 weeks and it cost me over $1000.00 Why do you think the government has previously fined Direct TV? Apparently, it wasn't a big enough fine.