Why Direct TV is right in dropping the Weather Channel
I ditched cable awhile back, so I don’t watch the Weather Channel anymore to begin with… but that said, it’s still interesting to see Direct TV dropping the channel due to failed contract negotiations. And frankly, I think Driect TV made the right choice.
The Weather Channel is an obsolete mess, and a shadow of its former self. Yes… it USED to be relevant. Unfortuately, it has failed to adapt to changing technology and viewer consumption.
Years ago, the Weather Channel was about weather. Now, it’s about advertising. Aside from the fact that its “weather coverage” is mediocre at best, the vast majority of its lineup is weather-based reality shows and movies and the sheer number of commercials (the last time I was able to watch the channel) borders on ridiculous. In an era when current weather information and alerts are available, literally, at the touch of a button (or an icon on your smart phone), the Weather Channel has become completely irrelevant.
Even their online offerings are meager. Take a look at their website, and you’ll notice that you don’t see much about your local weather. In fact, you won’t see your local weather at all, if your browser cookies have been cleared, since it doesn’t seem to auto-locate your region based on IP address. What you WILL see, however, is a ton of irrelevant garbage.
For example, as I’m typing this blog post, the top headlines on the front page of weather.com are such gems as “Ride the Rainbow in Ski-Colored Snow”, “World’s Most Beautiful Streets”, and “Why is Full Moon this Year’s Tiniest?” (which just links to a HuffingtonPost.com article). And let’s not forget about their top videos… “Creepy Abandoned Holy Land”, and “Otters are Ready for some Football”.
Hell, you don’t even GET to the Maps & Forecasts section until you’ve scrolled 2/3 of the way down the page. Their smartphone app is no better.
But perhaps the biggest insult of the whole Direct TV vs. Weather Channel battle is the fact that it all started because the Weather Channel wanted Direct TV to pay them MORE MONEY for the privilege of carrying their obsolete, out of touch channel and then had the audacity to claim that a blackout will be “dangerous” because those affected will not get timely weather updates. Seriously.
The very fact that they made such a claim shows just how out of touch the Weather Channel really is. Now, let me state for the record that I dislike Direct TV for a variety of reasons. But on this one issue, they are in the right.
As for the people who have lost the Weather Channel… I would suggest tuning into Direct TV’s competing weather channel, WeatherNation… or better yet, using one of the hundreds of online resources that are not only more timely, but tend to be more accurate than televised weather information:
Personally, I’m very fond of WeatherBug. In addition to the website, they also offer a desktop app, a mobile site, and a mobile app.