Dish, Weather Channel See Clear Forecast, More Coverage

Weather ChannelAs disputes between operators and networks go, this one became a day at the beach. After it appeared that the Weather Channel would be off Dish Network and the two sides would trade barbs, they reached a long-term agreement relatively quickly.

There was no interruption in the network's availability to an estimated 14 million Dish customers. Presumably, documentary-style shows "When Weather Changed History" and "Storm Stories" aired Saturday evening.

Dish said focus groups had led it to believe its viewers wanted forecasting 24/7 and not the additional programming the Weather Channel had been increasingly offering.

The settlement includes the Weather Channel staying on Dish, but also Weather providing the satellite operator with a second all-forecasts-all-the-time network this summer -- with local information. Dish previously had received only a national feed, without the targeted forecasts cable operators offer.



The new channel is billed as "state-of-the-art, full-time weather forecasting services designed specifically for satellite customers." A Weather Channel representative said in an email that the channel is not exclusive to Dish. Weather "would be happy to discuss with DirecTV" whether it had any interest.

Developing a new channel could be a coup for Weather Channel in the end -- a maneuver that could lead to a sort of CNN-Headline News dynamic. CNN created the second channel to be all-news-all-time and was able to persuade operators to carry both.

Weather Channel will soon have a second offering launching in about 14 million homes that it could expand with new affiliate deals.

The Weather Channel deal also includes Dish customers with Android-equipped phones that have access to an exclusive app, as well as to some online offerings.

Financial terms of the deal, including the new carriage rates, were not disclosed.

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