If you’re a satellite or cable subscriber, you’ve probably seen it: a notice from your television provider, explaining that the channel you are trying to watch isn’t available, because the network wants more money than the television provider is willing to pay. It explains that the company is working with the network to reach an agreement. Maybe it even urges you to contact the network and let them know you’re siding with your television provider.
Today, The Weather Channel (TWC) is asking viewers to do the reverse, but in a larger way, according to WRAL. They want viewers to ask Congress to step in and settle the network’s dispute with DirecTV.
TWC says that the increase in price it is asking DirecTV to pay is negligible, and that to let the channel be dropped for nearly 20 million viewers is a safety issue. The Weather Channel’s President, David Clark, says that the channel is like a public utility, saying that it has a mission to serve, and that in times of bad weather, the channel is essential to viewers’ safety.
A spokesperson for DirecTV responded, saying that there are many other informational outlets for viewers to keep aware of weather concerns, including DTV’s own service, Weather Nation, which he says was launched in response to viewers’ complaints that The Weather Channel had too many reality shows when they wanted to see current, relevant weather information.
The current contract ends Monday, and if the two can’t reach an agreement, many viewers will not have access to the channel on Tuesday.
What’s the verdict? Is DirecTV being stingy? Is The Weather Channel being greedy? Whatever the outcome, we may hope that we don’t actually need an act of Congress to settle the dispute.