DirecTV Combats Weather Channel Price Hikes By…Actually Showing People The Weather
from the you're-really-not-very-good-at-your-only-job dept
The Weather Channel has been well-deserving of mockery over the last few years, whether its for their efforts to sex up storms by naming them (in the process creating a nation of weather neurotics who become hysterical about drizzle), or for an ocean of TV and website content that has absolutely nothing to do with the weather (here’s some funny faces, yuk yuk). As such, their recent battle with DirecTV over retransmission fees doesn’t find the company getting much sympathy. Especially when the channel tries to argue that people will die without their inane assortment of non-weather-related content.
Normally in such retransmission disputes the content company has some leverage over the satellite or cable TV provider because what they’re withholding has somewhat irreplaceable value to the viewer (say, like “Breaking Bad”). In The Weather Channel’s case, their belief that they somehow held an exclusive over weather forecasting, combined with the fact that they have increasingly gotten worse at their one and only job, has given DirecTV the upper hand in the ongoing feud. After pulling the channel from the lineup back in January, DirecTV continues to battle The Weather Channel in a very simple way — by simply offering viewers the weather for a change:
DirecTV on Monday unveiled a suite of new weather services for its subscribers, including a feature that allows customers to gain access to local weather information at any time…The satcaster said customers tuned to WeatherNation can press the red button on their remote to access instant local weather conditions and outlook. Later this week, short term and extended weather forecasts by zip code will also be integrated into the live WeatherNation broadcast and run automatically on the channel every 10 minutes.
Surely being offered actual information on the weather will outrage viewers who love sitting through a half hour of off-topic infotainment and dreck just to get the snow forecast totals for their neighborhood. Seriously, without The Weather Channel, who’ll tell us which celebrities like to hunt or provide recipes for cheesy chicken bites? Usually these retransmission feuds resolve with cable and satellite companies buckling and agreeing to some sort of significant hike (then passed on to you), though with the sort of stuff The Weather Channel has been producing in recent years, it’s not clear if customers will want DirecTV to cave.