The blackout of The Weather Channel on DirecTV is about to reach a month and there doesn't appear to be any end in sight to the dispute over subscriber license fees.
The Weather Channel went dark late on Jan. 13, following the extension of the parties' contract, which was originally set to expire on Dec. 31, 2013. Since the disconnect, there has been silence from the affiliate camps in Atlanta and El Segundo, Calif.
"Their attitude always was kind of take it or leave it. As far as we're concerned, there were never really good faith negotiations with DirecTV," said David Kenny, CEO of The Weather Co., the parent of The Weather Channel, in an interview. "We haven't had any conversations with them since."
In the interim, The Weather Channel has seen its industry-leading subscriber count of 100 million-plus fall by 20 million, without a presence on the nation's second largest distributor. Kenny isn't happy with the situation, but the DBS decrease doesn't mark the demise of The Weather Co., which is owned by a consortium made up of NBCUniversal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.
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