DirecTV subscribers could lose The Weather Channel as soon as early Tuesday morning.
The broadcast satellite service provider and the network are currently in a spat over their carriage agreement, in which TWC is seeking an increase in compensation.
“Right now we’re pretty much at an impasse in our discussions. We’re still hopeful we will reach an agreement…but right now it’s not looking so good,” said Shirley Powell, head of corporate communications for The Weather Channel. “We’re asking for a very negligible increase for the life-saving information we offer.” If an agreement is not reached, by Jan. 14 at 12:01 a.m. ET, DIRECTV viewers will lose the network.
Just before TWC’s panel during the Television Critics Association press tour Saturday morning, DirecTV issued their own statement on the spat, saying they are seeking the “best value since people now use so many other ways to retrieve weather-related information.” DirecTV launched their own weather information provider in 2011 with WeatherNation, a response, they said in their statement, “to numerous customer complaints that more than 40 percent of The Weather Channel’s programming is dedicated to reality television shows.”
For his part, Sam Champion, who left Good Morning America to lead a new morning show on TWC set to launch in March, defended The Weather Channel’s assertion that despite being a for-profit business, it fills a public service. “Sometimes business has to fill in where there’s not a public utility to take care of it,” he said. “There isn’t one [for weather]. I’d love to say that we can all rest assured and be stay safe in our homes during a storm because of blank that will take care of us and inform us and prepare us and evacuate us, there isn’t one.” The Weather Channel has launched a social media campaign and a website so viewers can chime in.