As the situation has been for many years, national channels often getting in pissing matches with the cable and satellite networks. The cause for these spats? Money, of course.
One is charging the other for too much money for what is perceived as too little of service. The other threatens boycott. Both take to the air waves for a PR battle. The two entities kiss, pat each other on the butt, make up … only to go through the same imbroglio in the next five years.
But this latest quarrel between DirecTV and The Weather Channel is a little different, very interesting and smacks of a chance of partly awesome. Here’s why…
Typically, much as in the case of strikes in sports, the Maury Povich type drama between millionaires and billionaires bore people and creates this cloud of malaise over the nation. Ofttimes when DirecTV whizzes all over someone else’s fire hydrant, it’s a losing PR battle because consumers just want their networks.
However, I’ll bet someone at DirecTV thought when these monetary squabbles came to losing The Weather Channel, that not many folks would raise a fuss. Yeah. They would have been sorely mistaken. This is the home of Jim “King Weather” Cantore, Sam “The Man” Champion and who can forget the greatness that was #HurricaneWeek?!
The deal in the balance runs out of time on January 14. Who cares what DirecTV is paying for The Weather Channel and how much Jim, Sam and the gang wants to pay to be on the air. What has happened since keeps heating up. There’s been social media ballyhoo; advertising via online, TV and app; hashtags as seen above on Twitter and Facebook; and even a snazzy website.
“For DirecTV to take us off their lineup would be deeply irresponsible to its customers who not only count on The Weather Channel on a day-to-day basis, but depend on us before, during and after severe weather events,” said David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Co. “We have offered the industry’s best rate for our programming and are committed to reaching an agreement.”
To rub more tornadic activity in the agape wound of TWC, DirecTV gave the moon to the grimaced meterologists by placing the upstart WeatherNation right next to it on the dial. To wit, the aforementioned snazzy website includes Uber Weather Stud Cantore talking to America about what TWC is a must-have for every American (out of the 20 million who currently enjoy his meteorological stylings) household (because brother needs weekly waxes for that fresh dome of his).
“We remain in discussions with The Weather Channel on how to provide its service to our customers at the best value since people now use so many other ways to retrieve weather-related information,” [some dude from DirecTV] said. “We launched Weather Nation to provide 24/7 hard news weather coverage in response to numerous customer complaints that more the (sic) 40% of The Weather Channel’s programming is dedicated to reality television shows.”
The Weather Channel, apparently new to this mudslinging gone public deal, thought Twitter would level the playing field. Only, TWC went about it in a not so classy way by mocking, well, weather-related death to stick a finger in DirecTV’s direction.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) January 11, 2014
That’s a threat. And that’s a ransacked trailer park left in the wake of some weather-related phenomenon. Stay classy, TWC. You had us right until the end.