Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Weather War!

The world of television is evolving as stations, television groups, and networks negotiate with cable companies and satellite providers over retransmission contracts. In these battles, both sides are blaming each other. Simply put, they are negotiating what the carrier must pay to take the signal and sell it to you.

As someone who works at a television station, I fully support television stations and networks in this battle. With that said, I have to understand that this is eventually going to shape the market into something new that we can't "clearly" foresee. Smart TVs, Station TV Apps, and the non-appointment television viewing is the future. The signals will not come from the cable provider or satellite provider, but through your internet provider.  Grab some popcorn and watch this unfold.

So, here we are on January 14th, 2014 and The Weather Channel has been taken off of Direct TV. The Weather Channel has been running a tough campaign to keep the emotions of the viewers high. Once again, I support this side of the debate, BUT...
... The Weather Channel has done some things in this campaign that I don't agree with:
  •  First, Direct TV substituted The Weather Channel signal with a new company called Weather Nation. At this time, this company does not have the resources of The Weather Channel, but they do provide weather on their network 24 hours a day. According to some from The Weather Channel, most of Weather Nation's programming is recorded, but I can't confirm or deny that allegation. Anywho, some The Weather Channel employees are taking shots at Weather Nation and making personal attacks on their employees. I know some of their employees and they are good people. I know people at The Weather Channel and they are also good people. If you think about it, we are all in the same boat! The battle is between The Weather Channel and Direct TV, not Weather Nation. Some of the things written are going to make weather conferences need extra security. I'm bringing the popcorn and I'll LIVE Tweet what happens.
Jim Cantore has stayed classy during this debate, Al Roker ... not so much:

  • Second, The Weather Channel has implied a few times that without their coverage, people's lives are in jeopardy. However, when the weather is life-threatening, people watch their local affiliates. Do you guys watch The Weather Channel when severe weather hits Region 8? Ratings in most (if not all) show that when severe weather hits, they watch local stations.

    Let's take Hurricane Sandy for example, more people got their information from LOCAL stations. YES, The Weather Channel provides GREAT information, but most of their audience in those situations are not in the path of the dangerous weather. It's weather geeks like me watching.... This graphic is from the Hurricane Sandy Service Assessment from the National Weather Service, NOAA. Click to enlarge:
  • Third, The Weather Channel needs to throttle what is being said on Twitter. Burning bridges is never a good thing.
Let me be clear in this post. I like The Weather Channel and their employees. I really hope they are put back on Direct TV because they have their role. I just hope they realize that the battle is between them and Direct TV. While Weather Nation is their competition, let the people decide of Weather Nation is insignificant or not. Making fun of their product or employees makes you look desperate. 

Oh, and I estimate that the contract will be resolved and The Weather Channel will be back on Direct TV Friday night at 9:00 PM Central time. :) Any bets on the over and under?

Have a great day!


Steele Guy said...

Well said, Ryan. I don't want to discount what they do as I do watch IF I know bad weather may be headed in. I like some of their documentaries but they could lose all of the "reality" stuff.

I also wish Directv would give us Channel 8 here in Pemiscot County. They give us all the Memphis stations as well as Cape (KFVS is realy good) and Paducah. I would gladly dump Paducah for KAIT!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever used TWC as a trusted source for severe weather. I just check it for other, distant, locations' weather. Channel 7 is a great source here in Little Rock.