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DirecTV drops Weather Channel from lineup

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DirecTV yanked The Weather Channel from its lineup shortly after midnight Monday, leaving 800,000 New Yorkers and 20 million customers nationwide without the network.

The move comes as the satellite television service and channel allowed a contract agreement to expire, failing to agree to a new deal.

David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Company, released a prepared statement Tuesday about the dispute with DirecTV over retransmission fees. He contended DirecTV has “put corporate profits ahead of keeping a trusted channel that subscribers rely on every deal.”

The Weather Channel had requested an increase in carriage fees DirecTV pays to air the network, but it was rejected. An average carriage fee of roughly 13 cents per month per subscriber was previously charged by The Weather Channel for DirecTV to air the network, according to data from market research firm SNL Kagan.

During negotiations, the channel had asked DirecTV for an increase of 1 cent per subscriber per month in those fees.

“We are not looking for a large fee increase,” Mr. Kenny said. “We are simply looking for a fair deal that allows our company to continue to invest in the science and technology that enables us to keep people safe, deliver the world’s best weather, and tell weather stories to help people be prepared and informed.”

A statement on DirecTV’s website calls dropping The Weather Channel a “regrettable” move, but points out that subscribers have access to weather coverage on its own network called WeatherNation.

The channel was recently launched to provide “24/7 hard news weather coverage” in response to complaints that greater than 40 percent of The Weather Channel’s programming is dedicated to reality television shows, according to the website.

DirecTV also offers city-by-city weather coverage on more than 1,400 local broadcast stations and on its emergency channels when there is severe weather.

The Weather Channel recently launched a website, www.keeptheweatherchannel.com, that now urges people to contact members of Congress to complain about the loss of the channel in an attempt to force DirecTV to bring it back.

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