Editor’s note: This article was originally published January 13, 2014
The Weather Channel could go dark tonight for about 20 million DirecTV subscribers.
The weather-focused cable network is at odds with the nation’s largest satellite provider over — you guessed it — cash compensation.
Reportedly The Weather Channel is asking for a per-subscriber fee that’s higher than the one it currently receives. The exact amount being sought hasn’t been disclosed.
The deadline to reach a new deal, barring a last-minute extension, is 11 tonight.
DirecTV, like many other cable and satellite providers, claims any increases would likely end up being passed along to consumers.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Just about all of the nation’s cable and satellite companies have ended up in these disputes lately, taking on a variety of local stations as well as national cable TV networks.
This particular battle has drawn a lot of interest because The Weather Channel has sought help from Congress, claiming it’s a "critical life-saving community resource."
That might be true, to an extent, but when severe weather breaks out in Central Texas, ratings show most folks tune to our local network affiliates.
DirecTV, on the other hand, claims it has heard from a significant number of subscribers who are fed up with the amount of reality shows that air on The Weather Channel.
The satellite provider claims programs such as "Prospectors" and "Freaks of Nature" now make up 40 percent of The Weather Channel’s lineup.
If The Weather Channel does vanish, DirecTV has added WeatherNation to its lineup, providing what it calls "24/7 hard news weather coverage." Find it on channel 361.