Dish Network Drops Weather Channel

DISH Network has dropped Weather Channel in favor of its own Weather Cast service.

DISH told viewers who tuned in Thursday to find the Weather Channel gone that the channel had moved into more "weathertainment" programming like movies and storm stories and away from the weathercasting their subscribers wanted.

Dish will also add another weather service with more localized reporting in the near future.

"Our contract with The Weather Channel is expiring and they are demanding unreasonable contract terms that would impact customer pricing," said DISH. "We felt that the pending contract expiration presented an ideal opportunity to respond to feedback from customers who have been asking for better weather programming," said the company.

"Dish has chosen to drop The Weather Channel from its channel line-up and its customers will no longer see one of the most important and valuable networks on television," said Weather Channel Companies Executive VP Shirley Powell in a statement. "The Weather Channel has been serving the American public for more than 28 years and viewers trust and rely on it as their weather authority.  Despite negotiations over the past several months, Dish has chosen to be the first distributor to drop The Weather Channel rather than pay the standard industry rates others in the industry have already agreed to pay.  We are disappointed with their decision and hopeful that we can still reach an agreement with Dish Network and bring this highly valued network back to its customers.  In the meantime, we are urging our viewers to contact DirectTV or their local cable or telco provider to receive The Weather Channel."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.