Verizon’s FiOS television service has dropped The Weather Channel. There was no contract dispute, but The Weather Channel says that the two were negotiating terms of a new contract. The Weather Channel is partly owned by NBC Universal, which is in turn owned by Comcast. Comcast is one of Verizon’s biggest competitors.
Verizon alerted viewers to the change by email and told them that The Weather Channel will be replaced with a new channel from AccuWeather. A television channel from AccuWeather has been rumored as The Weather Channel has had several contract disputes and drops over the recent months. WeatherNation also launched recently as a competitor to The Weather Channel and, now, AccuWeather. In their message to subscribers, Verizon does say that people are getting their weather information from a variety of sources, not just television. It then goes on to say that a new weather television channel will be launching.
The Weather Channel seemed surprised and shocked at the move. They released a statement touting their coverage and blasting Verizon.
We were disappointed when, without warning late yesterday, March 9, Verizon FiOS dropped The Weather Channel from their lineup while our companies continued to be in active conversations regarding a contract renewal. FiOS customers have enjoyed a bundle of services from The Weather Channel including the network, WeatherScan, On Demand, a Weather Widget and streaming on mobile devices.
During a winter with record-breaking storms and severe weather, The Weather Channel responded with non-stop live coverage, including the ongoing presence of our crews reporting live from hard-hit communities within the Verizon FiOS footprint. This coverage resulted in The Weather Channel being the only major cable network to grow in February.
After recently renewing carriage agreements with NCTC, Cox and Time Warner Cable, we are surprised Verizon FiOS would deny their subscribers access to the best live weather coverage and expertise that only The Weather Channel can provide. We urge FiOS customers to contact Verizon and voice their displeasure.