It’s time for a celebration in the weather geek world! Last night, DirecTV dropped The Weather Channel. DirecTV is the biggest satellite television distributor in the United States, and they replaced TWC with WeatherNation. Which is an alternative 24/7 weather service channel. I would call this a celebration, no matter what the executives at The Weather Channel, NBC, or Comcast are saying.
The Weather Channel CEO David Kenny called the move “unprecedented” in the network’s 32-year history. And I think the move is unprecedented. Ever since The Weather Channel was bought out by NBC and Comcast, the network has gone downhill in my opinion. First off, they began to name every winter storm with their own list of names just like how hurricanes are named by the National Weather Service. Soon, I believe the NWS will have to accept the fact that winter storms need to be named, just because The Weather Channel started it.
Two, they have aired less and less live weather programming. When I was growing up, I would always watch The Weather Channel. I loved how you could always tune in, no matter if it was 1 pm or 1 am, and see a meteorologist talking about the weather. Today, you still get that for about half the day. The other half of the day is filled with junk reality programming including shows about Coast Guard rescuers, tow truck drivers in Canada, gold prospectors in Colorado, steel workers in the Northeast, power line workers in Arkansas, you get the idea. The Weather Channel has filled much of its programming with cheap reality shows. In fact, from 2 pm Eastern all the way until 4 am Eastern the next morning on the weekends, TWC plays reality shows with no live programming.
And three, The Weather Channel is introducing more things that are not weather during their live programming. Who cares about the top news from MSNBC or stock market reports from CNBC. I tune in to The Weather Channel to see the weather, not the news. If I wanted to see the news, I would not watch TWC. I also don’t like seeing stories that ties the extreme weather to global warming. I don’t want to see politics injected into my weather forecast. I just want to know what the weather is going to do.
The only thing I see The Weather Channel getting right is their severe weather coverage. Yes, TWC will go 24/7 when a major storm affects the country. They have great meteorologists that go out into the field and shows the weather in action. I also like the new graphics they debuted a few months ago. Right now, TWC has been going 24/7 with live programming, mostly to tell DirecTV subscribers that they will lose The Weather Channel. Yep, I checked at 2 am last night, and they were doing live programming. But after DirecTV brings back TWC, how long until they go back to their old ways with their cheap reality programming?
The Weather Channel has said their channel is important and it’s downright dangerous for DirecTV for dropping them. They even recruited Jim Cantore to tell everyone that it’s irresponsible for DirecTV to “deny their viewers access to critical and potentially life-saving information in times of severe weather.” Seriously, the TWC execs are asking their own meteorologists, who have no say in this, to defend The Weather Channel when it’s actually NBC and Comcast who is telling TWC to air more reality junk.
DirecTV has said The Weather Channel devotes up to 40 percent of its programming schedule to “reality TV shows.” And there are better alternatives to TWC like WeatherNation. Yes, WeatherNation does do 24/7 weather programming, but some of their programming is on a taped loop. But here is one difference! WeatherNation, AccuWeather, and the local TV stations have been great partners to me Nathan Young and the Geek Alabama blog. When I do storm coverage, they often share my pictures. Where is The Weather Channel? I don’t know, some of the meteorologists at TWC knows I do exist. But they ignore my weather coverage. Think I am lying, here is a picture of one of my posts shared on WeatherNation!
The Weather Channel is asking for a one cent increase to carry TWC on DirecTV. But that is not the problem in this situation. The problem is The Weather Channel is getting further and further away from its core mission, to forecast the weather! I don’t blame the meteorologists there for this situation, I blame NBC and Comcast in their fancy suits up in New York City for telling TWC to cut back on their live programming and instead air cheap reality junk. I want TWC to starting doing more weather again. And share the pictures from people of the weather, not only on their website, but on TV as well. And if anyone from TWC, NBC, or Comcast is reading this and thinking, this is an off the wall blogger voicing his opinion. Think again, Geek Alabama is ranked extremely high in Alexa rankings and is one of the top websites/blogs in the Southeast US. So yes, lots of people are going to read this post!
To the execs at The Weather Channel, NBC, or Comcast who does not like my opinion or wants to chat. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will talk!