Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice | Voter Guide

Weather Channel Will Return To DirectTV

Photo caption:

Photo by Jonathan Saruk/The Weather Channel Getty Images

The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore reporting from Manhattan's Battery Park during Hurricane Irene in August 2011.

The Weather Channel will return to DIRECTV on Wednesday, ending a three month dispute which saw the cable channel yanked from the satellite television system reaching 20 million subscribers.

But the new agreement comes with a price: the Weather Channel has agreed to cut back its reality programming by half during weekdays, restore instant local weather and allow DIRECTV subscribers to watch the cable channel on a range of devices in and out of their homes.

Disputes over rates paid by cable TV and satellite systems to carry channels – often referred to as carriage agreements – are nothing new (In this case, the Weather Channel sought an extra penny per subscriber, per month).

But this is a rare case of a major channel agreeing to change its programming to resolve a conflict with a satellite TV provider, which could set a precedent for disputes to come.

"We feel the customers' voice was heard," said DIRECTV spokesman Darris Gringeri. "One of our biggest points was, we don't want to pay for a channel, when much of it is reality programming."

The Weather Channel was dropped from DIRECTV back in January, amid complaints from the satellite TV service that more than 40 percent of the channel's programming was filled by reality shows such as Coast Guard Alaska and Ice Pilots.

The Weather Channel accused DIRECTV of keeping lifesaving weather information from its customers in broadcasts featuring popular meteorologist Jim Cantore. DIRECTV added WeatherNation, a smaller service, to the channel slot once occupied by the Weather Channel.

Gringeri said DIRECTV will continue to feature WeatherNation after The Weather Channel returns; they have just signed a multi-year deal for the service. The Weather Channel, which recently debuted the new morning show America's Morning Headquarters with Sam Champion, will not change its primetime programming.

"Our apologies to DIRECTV and their customers for the disruption of service and for initiating a public campaign," said David Kenny, CEO of Weather Channel parent The Weather Company, in a statement. "Our viewers deserve better than a public dispute and we pledge to reward their loyalty with exceptional programming and more weather focused news."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.