After a dispute that lasted nearly three months, the Weather Channel is returning to DirecTV Wednesday. The satellite operator and cable network have been feuding over a proposed increase in the fees DirecTV pays to carry the channel. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Wall Street Journal, citing an anonymous source, reports that DirecTV will pay The Weather Channel more, but not the one cent more per subscriber that the cable network was seeking.
As part of the agreement, the Weather Channel will cut its reality show programming by half on weekdays and allow its content to be streamed on mobile devices. At the beginning of the dispute, DirecTV claimed that its customers were complaining about the influx of reality TV that had crowded out programming directly related to weather. The satellite operator launched a new weather network called Weather Nation just before The Weather Channel went dark in January. The Weather Channel, meanwhile, launched a very public campaign to rally its viewers to demand the channel return to the regular lineup.
Now, the company is saying that strategy was a mistake. “Our apologies to DirecTV and their customers for the disruption of our service and for initiating a public campaign,” Weather Channel CEO David Kenny said in a press release. “Our viewers deserve better than a public dispute and we pledge to reward their loyalty with exceptional programming and more weather focused news.”
The tone of the release was markedly different from the last big pay-TV blackout, when CBS was dropped from Time Warner Cable for about a month in August. Time Warner Cable ended up offering CBS a significant increase in carriage fees and the cable company’s CEO admitted “we certainly didn’t get everything we wanted.”