Weather Channel To DirecTV: Meet Our Cost Demands Or EVERYONE WILL DIE!

from the storming-out-of-your-contract dept

In previous stories where a television channel goes to war with DirecTV and its peers, the mantra by the channel requesting a higher contract is typically the same: our entertainment provides value beyond what we're paid. That was the case when Viacom held its fans hostage in one such dispute, for instance, or when the far-more-sane AMC had a similar dispute. The point is that it always seems to come down to nothing more than money, where the dispute is over how much monetary value a channel has to a broadcaster. Nothing more, nothing less.

Not so, when it comes to the Weather Channel's dispute with DirecTV. Sure, they similarly want more money, but their response campaign to DirecTV bristling at the request while offering a different, televised weather channel is, shall we say, slightly more melodramatic and massively more aggressive.

Usually when cable channels and distributors go to war over money, the two sides warn customers that a blackout will be inconvenient. This time, the Weather Channel is saying it'll be downright dangerous. The channel has tried to rally the public's support by reminding people that it is an emergency lifeline during severe weather.

"The Weather Channel isn't just another TV network. It's a must-have resource that keeps families safe," proclaimed a headline on
Hmm, so the idea is that if DirecTV doesn't meet the Weather Channel's price demands, the weather monster is going to kill everyone? That'd be one hell of a provocative argument to make if it wasn't made, you know, at the damned website from which everyone can also get that life-saving information. The argument not only pretends that DirecTV isn't offering a different weather channel that would serve a similar function, or that there are various web-based methods for getting weather reports and alerts via computer and/or smartphone and mobile device, but it also ignores the Weather Channel's own services.

This irony doesn't appear to be lost on DirecTV.
DirecTV executives say that, contrary to the Weather Channel's positioning, there are many other sources for urgent weather news these days, including WeatherNation.

"When information is readily available everywhere, it's no longer necessary for people to have to pay a premium," York said in a telephone interview. He also asserted that the Weather Channel devotes up to 40 percent of its programming schedule to "reality TV shows."
I don't know what the actual outcome of this dispute will be, but it would appear the emotional argument that everyone is going to die without the Weather Channel on DirecTV is one that should and will fall flat on its face. Good try, though, guys.

Filed Under: contracts, disputes, tv, weather
Companies: directv, the weather channel

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  1. identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 16 Jan 2014 @ 10:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Real Weather Business. (to John Fenderson, #8)

    You are confusing the act of using a system, as a free rider, with the act of having it specially made for you. GPS, for example, was designed in the first instance so that the Strategic Air Command's B-52 bombers could find their way over Russia, even though the local navigation radios had been turned off by the people on the ground, and drop "eggs" on Moscow. You know, "Dr. Strangelove" and all that. To the best of my knowledge and believe, neither the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, nor the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers were designed for fisheries reteach. They were designed for "power projection," in other words, destroying stuff and killing people.

    I can make a list of small countries, starting with Iceland, which really are economically dependent on their fisheries. In the 1960's and 1970's, Iceland had its "cod war" with Britain, as it pioneered in claiming the two-hundred-mile territorial sea. However, Iceland is not noted for launching satellites.

    In peacetime, as a matter of common prudence, you normally sit out the worst weather. In war, however, you attack behind a storm. Think of the Battle of Midway and the Ardennes Offensive.

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