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Forecast is now sunny for Dish Network and Weather Channel

May 24, 2010 |  9:58 am

The storm clouds have lifted and the sun is shining in the relationship between satellite broadcaster Dish Network and the Weather Channel. That's enough weather analogies for now.

After threatening to drop the Weather Channel -- which it never followed through on -- Dish has a new deal to carry the network and will drop its plans to launch its own weather network. 

Although Dish said it was dropping the Weather Channel because the network is no longer just a 24-hour meteorological service and now has movies such as "Misery" that have weather themes, in reality it was about money. Dish didn't want to pay the increase that the Weather Channel was seeking.

Both sides can claim victory. The Weather Channel got its increase, and Dish Network got the Weather Channel to provide a second network to subscribers that will just be local weather. According to SNL Kagan, an industry consulting firm, the Weather Channel was getting about 11 cents per subscriber, per month and wanted to increase that by about a penny. 

As for the Weather Channel's broadening its programming, just about every programmer has done this in the past few years. History has reality shows now. TLC stopped being about learning years ago. Bravo has as much do with fine arts as MTV does with music videos. In other words, this is nothing new.

Rather than use the Weather Channel's programming strategy as its reason for wanting to drop the service, Dish should just survey its audience and analyze the numbers and decide whether anyone would really miss the network if it went away. Now that would cause a storm.

-- Joe Flint


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