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Customers sound off at DirecTV for dropping The Weather Channel

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As of midnight on Jan. 14, more than 20 million DirecTV customers no longer have access to The Weather Channel, the most comprehensive and advanced weather station available. As posted by CNN on Tuesday, DirecTV dropped The Weather Channel in favor of WeatherNation due to a one-cent per month rate hike (per subscriber) by TWC. Dan York from DirecTV stated today that the hike was higher, but declined to say by how much. David Kenny, CEO of The Weather Channel’s parent company, countered that DirecTV is not only fighting the penny increase, but is also looking for a price rollback.

Regardless of the reasons for the fight, DirecTV customers who enjoy and appreciate The Weather Channel are the biggest losers. And they’re sounding off on social media to express their outrage and disappointment in DirecTV.

Below are a few Facebook posts made on Jan. 14:

  • “Please come back to DirecTV! What they replaced you with is UNACCEPTABLE!!!" – Jim Cassin
  • “I’m lost. Canceling DirecTV.” – Angelo Appi Jr.
  • “I already miss it. I don’t like the replacement!" – Christi Smith
  • “I want my Weather Channel back!” – Denise Risner
  • “Whoever made the decision over at Direct TV to cancel The Weather Channel clearly has no clue of the enormous value that you bring and they should be fired. Have they ever heard of if it isn’t broken don’t fix it? I will never be a Direct TV customer ever. Any company that does not respect the diligent public service that The Weather Channel provides has no clue as to the great importance of what you do. Keep up the great work that has been helping to save lives and educate people everyday for years. You guys are amazing!” – Amy Steele
  • “Your station has always provided outstanding services during damaging storms - Sandy is an excellent example.” – Nancy Catania
  • I voiced my opinion to keep you guys on the air. As you see, DirecTV really does not care about its customers. Its all money money money to them.” – Susan Kaberle
  • "Since moving to Miami in 2002, TWC has been my lifeline in multiple storms.” – Katie Healy

Sam Champion, who left a lucrative position at “Good Morning America” on Dec. 4 for a new one at TWC (his new show debuts in March), has been active on Twitter, urging DirecTV customers to join him in efforts to get The Weather Channel back on DirecTV.

Below are a few re-tweeted messages by Champion, TWC’s newest meteorologist.

  • “Never had sat TV except @DIRECTV, but will change if TWC is not provided!” Keller Lellerc
  • “There is no sub for @weatherchannel and Sam. Fix it or I’m canceling! Already written my congressman.” – Mercedes Thomas
  • “Well, @DIRECTV looks like I might need to cancel YOU!” – Keke Osbourne
  • “Got a letter my bill is going up due to costs, yet DIRECTV says they’re saving me money by dropping my fave channel. Hmmmm.” – Doug Marrone
  • “This is the last straw DIRECTV! I’m dropping your crappy service.” – Ben Reppert
  • “The Weather Channel saved my life when there was severe weather in my area. Tornado imminent + TWC warning to hide.” – Joe Lawson

Jim Cantore, who is considered “The Face” of The Weather Channel, penned an open letter on Jan. 13 about DirecTV’s decision to drop the network. Below is the content of his impassioned statement that was posted on weather.com:

I am very sad that DIRECTV may lose The Weather Channel after midnight tonight. I have worked more than 27 years to provide viewers with the most critical weather information, when they need it most. As a network, our focus has always been to save lives and teach people about weather and climate. Many of you have grown up with The Weather Channel and you know we've been with you before, during and after storms as a trusted resource for those who need our information to stay prepared and ready for what the weather brings.

I have personally sent a note to DIRECTV CEO Mike White asking him to keep us on as part of DIRECTV’s programming. I told him how many of our viewers, especially in rural areas, rely on our service to keep them informed and safe when weather threatens. Of the hundreds of storms I have covered, people always make it a point to personally thank me for being there and taking them through the storm. If DIRECTV drops The Weather Channel, it means the families living in 20 million homes are at risk in times of severe weather without the vital information they are accustomed to getting from The Weather Channel.

This is not a fight over a large increase -- DIRECTV is fighting with us for about a penny a subscriber. If you compare this cost to other networks, you’ll find we are one of the least expensive. I promise you the negligible increase we are asking is worth every life we save when our viewers receive our expert forecasting and critical information. The Weather Channel's slight rate increase is 100% earmarked for increasing the exact local severe coverage that will make The Weather Channel's already-essential coverage even more precise and imperative for our viewers.

I am overwhelmed by the genuine outpouring of trust in our company ever since we first started talking to you about losing DIRECTV. We have seen an extraordinary and overwhelming response, with hundreds of thousands of emails, faxes, calls to DIRECTV and posts on social media. I hope you will add yours if you haven’t already. You can go to www.keeptheweatherchannel.com for more information on how you can be heard by DIRECTV.

We are listening to all your constructive comments and at the end of the day I feel it's just irresponsible for DIRECTV to drop The Weather Channel and deny their viewers access to critical and potentially life-saving information in times of severe weather. I think it’s a dangerous gamble to put lives at risk for a penny. I think you’ll agree. Nobody can do weather like we do. Nobody.

Some longtime fans of The Weather Channel have complained about the addition of reality shows like “Coast Guard Alaska,” “Prospectors” and “Freaks of Nature.” However, when weather turns nasty, The Weather Channel usually pre-empts these shows to cover breaking news. Plus, the network has sidelined some of the taped programming to make room for more live coverage.

DirecTV has already replaced The Weather Channel with WeatherNation, a start-up channel that does weather forecasting on a three-hour taped loop, has no field coverage, and no weather experts, according to “USA Today." Despite the fact that weather is available 24/7 on the Internet and mobile devices, The Weather Channel utilizes hundreds of experienced meteorologists and is often the go-to resource for millions of Americans, especially those in rural areas, for all things weather related. Not having access to TWC could quite possibly put DirecTV customers in harm’s way.

The bad news just keeps on coming for The Weather Channel fans who subscribe to DirecTV. Below are some of the latest tweets from The Weather Channel:

DIRECTV dropped us, we did not remove ourselves from their lineup.

Our negotiations with DIRECTV have ended, and we encourage you to switch providers.

If you are a DirecTV subscriber and are unhappy with the cancellation of The Weather Channel, there are several ways to take action.

  1. Make a call.
  2. Send an email.
  3. Switch cable providers.

Head to weather.com for more information on the above three options.

To hear what Jim Cantore has to say about DirecTV’s decision to drop The Weather Channel from its lineup, be sure to watch the video above.

Note From the Editor:

My family has subscribed to DirecTV since 2001. I am also a huge fan of The Weather Channel. Several months ago, I had the opportunity to interview Jim Cantore. In my humble opinion, he is the complete package. Not only is Jim a talented, experienced and dedicated professional, but he’s also passionate about weather and protecting people against Mother Nature’s wrath. There is none better. Period.

To say the least, I am furious with DirecTV concerning its decision to drop The Weather Channel. Once again, profits and the almighty dollar come before customer loyalty and satisfaction. Shame on you, DirecTV. Shame on you for letting down your customers. After 13 years (and thousands of dollars), it’s time for this loyal customer to make the switch to a smarter competitor.

I hope that penny is worth it.

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