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Weather Asks DirecTV To Waive Cancellation Fees

The Weather Channel is taking out newspaper ads urging DirecTV to waive cancellation fees for subscribers who want to switch video providers because the Weather Channel has been dropped from DirecTV’s lineup in a fee dispute.

The ad features an open letter from Weather Co. CEO David Kenny to DirecTV’s Board.

The letter says that more than 4 million customers have expressed their frustration on the Weather channel's website, more than 400,000 have called and emailed DirecTV, and more than 90,000 have pledged to switch providers.

"Many thousands have called your customer service centers asking to terminate their contracts since they are now getting less content for the same price. But DirecTV is threatening them with termination fees of $200 to $400," the letter says.

"Our preference would be for DirecTV to come back to the negotiating table and restore The Weather channel to your line up. But as you seem intent on proving a point at the expense of your customers' interests, then at least allow them to make their own choices without unaffordable penalties," Kenny wrote.

DirecTV responded by saying, "The vast majority of our customers are telling us a different story and one The Weather Channel may not want to hear--they do not want to be fed a diet of 40% reality TV programming that preempts hard weather news."

The satellite provider added that "The two-way dialogue we enjoy with our customers, which is far more reliable than surveys and focus groups, shows they have resoundingly voted for the 24/7 news WeatherNation offers, which more completely meets their demand for dedicated weather information."

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.