Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Weather Channel vs. DIRECTV


I'll have more on Arkansas Weather in a new post soon, but I wanted to ask you an interesting question first.

I'm sure you have heard of the big dispute between the Weather Channel and DIRECTV.   Each side has made their position clear and it's up to them to resolve it.  However, the Weather Channel is using this on their home page as as argument for DIRECTV to keep them on their channel line up.

"As the most trusted source of comprehensive weather information before, during and after a severe weather event, our viewers have lost access to life-saving services and alerts. Our 30 years of expertise and scope of over 220 meteorologists, along with up-to-the-minute live reporting cannot be replicated by any other service."

I have a serious problem with that argument.  I don't know anyone who watches a cable channel located in Atlanta, Georgia for severe weather information.  Maybe I'm assuming too much, but don't you and most people turn to LOCAL media when severe weather is  approaching  your town?  Don't you want that information from experienced meteorologists in your own community without commercial or reality show interruption?  Also, over the past several years, social media has evolved into a major source for severe weather information.

Please participate in the poll on the right side of the page.  It's not scientific, but I thought it could be interesting to see your opinion.

37 comments:

John Sacrey said...

Hi Todd,

And as of midnight, TWC is no longer listed in DirecTV's lineup. I can't remember the last time I watched TWC. Its been at least 10 years. Haven't missed them at all. It will be interesting to see how WeatherNation holds up on DirecTV. I wish them the best. Also saw where Accuweather is going to start a channel later this year.

jherald said...

The time I do go to the Weather Channel is for information about severe weather somewhere outside the local media market. For example, we have pockets of relatives in Iowa, Texas and Virginia/DC metro. Having taken a direct hit in the Stuttgart F3, I may be a little hypersensitive to storms. But in reality, the distant weather warnings bring on a few extra prayers for those loved ones.

Anonymous said...

I do watch TWC sometimes. Sometimes I like to see what is happening around the country and where the weather people are. They do report in some of the worst and most dangerous conditions. I have seen weather alerts for us on there. Sometimes I watch some of the shows they have on. Call me old-fashioned maybe but I like TWC.

Michelle said...

I do not know the last time I watched TWC, they changed their programming to include all the other shows and I don't watch. I get my weather news from KATV and if I travel I get it from the internet. I disagree with their statement also, I bet they don't have as many watchers as they think.

Anonymous said...

When the TWC went to mostly reality TV instead of reporting the weather I gave up on them. I very seldom watched them anyway. I always check local weather, your blog, accuweather, and weatherbell for the latest information. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Usually they have storm stories on or something else and not live coverage of the weather. BUT one thing you can say, is they treat southeast AR like we are actually in the state which is not something Channel 7 does.

Anonymous said...

I just don't really get why people criticize TWC SO much. I mean yeah, they play more reality shows now then they used to, but I enjoy watching them. They are all about weather. If severe storms break out, they always interrupt the show to cover the severe weather first. And yes, they do play commercials during severe weather rather than wall to wall like local media, but can you imagine if they stayed wall to wall every time a warning was issued anywhere? It would cost way more money than you would think to cut out paying advertisers every time a warning was issued anywhere in the US. And I agree, most people including myself turn to local media when severe weather breaks out to get the full coverage. However, I don't think that means that people at the weather channel need to be bashed for inventing the TOR:CON. It's no different than Todd's School Con. It helps viewers understand the chances of a tornado on that given day. It's not meant to confuse anyone or to try to "compete" with the national weather service or anything like that. Yes, they name winter storms. Big deal! Who cares if they want to name a storm to help keep track of each one. Sure it's a little silly, but why bash them nonstop about it? So at the end of my little rant, I think most people rely on local media for severe weather protection, but as far as just keeping up every day with what kind of weather is going on around the country, I believe many people, including me do watch and enjoy TWC for that reason.

Doug in HS said...

"...along with up-to-the-minute live reporting cannot be replicated by any other service."

I'm scratching my head on that one.

Chad Gardner said...

Either last year, or year before, Jim Cantore (from the Weather Channel) blasted his own network via his twitter account because there was a tornado outbreak going on and The Weather Channel was showing a movie instead. They're the last place I go for any weather information. And by that I mean I never go there...

Anonymous said...

I use TWC app/internet site quite a bit but rarely watch the actual channel. I, too, have not been happy with the switch to more reality programming on TWC and for a long time you couldn't get the 'local on the 8s' forecast on the HD channel (I think you can now?) But if severe weather is popping here in central Arkansas then I'm watching local media and following on social media. A national channel simply cannot provide the street by street view that local media can.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the point in being so anti TWC. Most of the people I know from time to time DO get their weather and weather news information from that station.

Then again most of the people I know don't have DirectTV because it's unreliable compared to cable.

I also take issue with the fact that a lot of "local" weather personalities seem to let politics obscure their honest feelings on climate change, which is a serious matter IMHO.

Kathy said...

I watch weather channel for national weather, especially areas where I have friends and family, for example during Sandy.

Mitchell McDill said...

At one time I would watch TWC local on the 8s to see how their forecast compared to the NWS Little Rock forecast but I really wasn't getting much new information from them. But in recent years I was annoyed by all the weather shows that were on when severe weather was happening. Although I have to say I like that Highway Through Hell show they have now.

Alice Rowland said...

Atlanta, Ga does not need TWC, they have Mike Francis. Taken from Little Rock KARK Channel 4. He was the best Weather man EVER!

Tonya Harding said...

TWC is one of a handful of channels I actually watch. I love science and weather and all things weather related. If DirecTV doesn't add TWC back, I'll drop them and just do without TV.

Anonymous said...

Right on about local tv & radio being the place to go for severe weather. NOAA Weather Radio, & social media should all be part of the equation. TWC's back is against the wall, and we all know they've had it coming for a while. Back in the 80's it was like visiting the NWS, but now it's more like watching an environmentalist's MTV. WeatherNation runs circles around TWC. Hopefully, Dave Schwartz and his crew can make Network Weather Channel work, and finally bring competition to national tv weather.

Michael Bodiak said...

Without stepping on some toes, the older generation will miss TWC more than the majority of us, simply because they do not have smart phones and are not on social media in the masses. This is slowly changing though but it's a no brainer that severe weather outbreaks are covered well in local markets, so there is really no need to have the TWC other than convenience. For those not technologically advanced, weather radios are a must, especially in rural areas where cable service is limited.

I am very disappointed in the route TWC has taken over the last 5-10 years, especially since I grew up in the 80's. They really did turn into MTV, and partnering with NBC didn't help. I am a Direct TV subscriber but with all of the other tools available, I won't be disappointed if they stay off the air. Besides, who needs TWC when you have Channel 7 and the Yak-Man?

Anonymous said...

I remember "back in the day" The Weather Channel being less commercial and more reliable even for local weather and especially forecasting. Having said this, I have always relied on a mix of multiple meteorological stations for weather news and updates. Especially when the internet became mainstream, in the event of extreme weather I look to local TV, national TV, and especially the internet.

Anonymous said...

Do we have any experienced "meteorologists" on TV locally?

Greg Reddin said...

I enjoy TWC - even several of their "reality programs." I watch them some during severe weather, but more reliable, up-to-the-minute information will come from local media, NWS, SKYWARN, socal media, etc. However, I think they're overplaying their hand right now, talking about putting lives at risk and whatnot. It's a bit much :-)

Anonymous said...

The Weather Channel's forecasting is very often inaccurate. Don't watch it very often, but when I do, it's only for a very brief time and for severe weather in other parts of the country. Local media is the best by far! I remember many years ago watching TWC and they reported tornadoes in Lo-NAKE (Lonoke) and Ca-BOT (Cabot). Hilarious!

steveken said...

It is no great loss. "The Weather Channel" is doing like all the rest of the networks anymore. Charging more and more for less and less actual content. They haven't done real "weather" in quite a few years. They are more of a reality show network now. Their constant demanding of more and more money makes me sick. DirecTV is doing right by their customers by not caving in to these jerks. This will keep bills from going up too much more on the next round of increases coming soon. ALL networks should be shut off if the continue insisting on more money. They are pricing television out of the budget of most households because they are charging too much for content. This greed must stop!!

budd said...

The weather Chanel mentions southwest Arkansas more than & does.You all thin that Little Rock is Arkansas,I realize that different NWS offices cover different parts of the state but you all like to pretend you cover the entire state and you don't. If I use either satellite service my weather still comes out of Shreveport . I get more accurate up to date weather from my ham radio and monitoring local public service.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Greg Forbes is awesome for severe weather information. However, during the event itself, everybody needs to be tuned into local weather via tv or radio radio. Those who love weather also understand the importance of websites like the Storm Prediction Center. Lastly, Todd gives us great information. Arkansas Weather Blog is awesome.

Anonymous said...

Local radio is useless these days with the consolidated group ownership and no one being behind the board (at least some stations do simulcast local TV during severe wx). While I get annoyed at the politics of the local TV weather "mets", usually all three (used to be four before KARK and KLRT merged) do a decent job with an edge to KATV and KARK/KLRT. The Weather Channel is perhaps a victim of changing technology with smart phones and local TV streaming live severe weather coverage online. I blame both sides (TWC and DirecTV) for the greed and the viewers of course are the losers. But sadly in the future this will occur between a provider and KATV's parent company. No problem, I'm within range of OTA TV from Little Rock and unaffected by these retransmission consent catfights.

Taylor said...

First of all, TWC doesn't fine tune the forecast for our area like the local mets do, and secondly, DTV's signal would be lost during any weather event that warrants attention. Personally, it sickens me to see how TWC has resorted to social media to help their efforts rather than negotiating. Those who want a pity party for living in a low population part of the state should get a weather radio.

03msc said...

Anyone who gets their main weather from TWC will lack a lot of useful information. I know some who just flip over there on the 8s of the hour occasionally to see the local temp but if you are using TWC as your main source of weather information you will be misinformed and not have the information that you need. Local Media and social media (posts by the local media and other weather watchers) are the best source of up-to-the-minute weather and accurate forecasts. Period.

janessa said...

There are two channels I turn to in times of severe weather. The first is KATV for my local weather needs because I live in central Arkansas. The other is WREG in Memphis, which I access via online streaming because I have kids who live there. I NEVER use TWC because they have proven to have slow, and occasionally inaccurate reporting of what is going on with me locally. If I need a current temp or radar I have my smartphone. TWC is unnecessary.

janessa said...

I do not use TWC for any reason at this point. If there is severe weather I count on KATV in LR for my own weather and WREG Memphis' live streaming online for my kids who live there. If I need a current temp somewhere I have my phone. So personally, I don't use TWC and won't miss it. In fact, recently I tried to find it in my DIRECTV lineup and couldn't because they'd changed call letters.

Anonymous said...

Let's look at TWC argument. Doesn't it sound familiar? Local news commercials do the same thing. "Watch us because we have more combined experience than anyone else", or, "watch us because we have the best coverage." Is any of it true? Doesn't matter. What matters is if the viewer believes it. Lure the viewer. TWC is a business, and money is everything. TWC is going after the viewers, and that might force the hand of DirecTV. Will DirecTV and TWC make up. I give it a DEAL:CON of 7.

Daryl Isaac said...

TWC has become a joke so far as covering the weather is concerned. Since the take over by NBC they have primarily shown reality shows.

Now to the poll....I use local media as well as social media and any other source to keep my family protected during severe weather.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...the Weather Channel is one of my favorites to watch. I like their "programs", too. But we only get to watch tv if we happen to be in a motel or something as we don't have tv at home so we aren't able to watch whenever we want, only once in a great while.

Anonymous said...

I watch it and enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

The DEAL:CON between TWC and DirectTV is dropping. The Wall Street Journal reports that DirecTV wants to cut money going to TWC by 20%, and TWC wants no cuts and a one penny increase. They are nowhere close to a handshake.

Don Ferren said...

I really like the replacement. Weather Nation is like TWC used to be--all weather all the time, without any of the reality shows. Since they stream the online and KTHV broadcasts on over-the-air channel 11-2, this means I actually get to watch it. DirectTV subscribers haven't really lost anything since they replaced TWC with the superior Weather Nation.

Anonymous said...

I use all sources of weather information available to me. At home, that means the local radio, my phone for social media, & my NOAA weather box. (Which seems to lose signal for a day or so after every major weather event i.e. the recent ice storm & the last nearby tornado). At work I use TWC a lot because of the local on the 8's, but during severe weather events I always trust local weather media first!! And at work, I not only use social media, but my FAVORITE is the Arkansas Weather Blog because I am a weather geek & there isn't anyone I've seen that does a better job giving great local (state of Arkansas) weather with as many cool geeky weather facts, theory's, & information as Todd Yakoubian! Big thanks!! It's saved on desktop @ work for my less geeky co-workers for when I'm not @ work, & I've even started suggesting the site to our out-of-town customers that are visiting the area when they inquire about the forecasts for their travel plans.

Anonymous said...

We liked the Weather Channel and do miss it but we never really used it for local coverage because they seemed to think Arkansas doesn't exist unless we have very severe weather. Local was always who we have gotten our weather from and I always check this blog for weather info as well. Usually the Weather Channel was just on with their music going while we ate breakfast and paid attention to what weather was going on in other states and so on. We were always glued to it during hurricanes and severe weather/tornadoes but otherwise it was just the breakfast background noise after we watched what was on our local early morning news.

Octo-BRRR