With the announcement on January 15, 2014, and the news of DIRECTV dropping The Weather Channel because of a disagreement on a market-based carriage deal, our Publisher Rich Siegel sought the opportunity to explore how this would affect the hospitality industry. Rich went straight to the source and interviewed the EVP/CIO of The Weather Channel, Bryson Koehler.
“The intersection of weather and travel is tremendous,” said Koehler. “In the dispute over a penny, DIRECTV has decided to drop us from their lineup. We are simply trying to ensure that there is the right communication and education out there about the impact this has for all DIRECTV users.”
For many travelers, The Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8s” is looked upon as the simplest way to get constant weather updates for the viewer’s current ZIP code location. The feature gives live weather updates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to The Weather Channel, with the channel being dropped from DIRECTV, viewers will no longer have this up-to-the-minute information, but will now have pre-recorded, less specific weather content.
Another issue in the hotel industry that stems from the channel drop deals directly with the hotel staff. For hotels that use DIRECTV, printed materials must be updated to no longer include The Weather Channel name or logo, or they will risk trademark infringement. This includes all printed material, as well as the on-screen channel guides. While this seems to be a small interruption to hotel staff, it may actually be a much larger annoyance. If these changes are not made, hotel guests may contact the front desk with calls inquiring why the channel seems to have disappeared.
“Our message is that The Weather Channel is an incredibly important part of the fabric of the American infrastructure for safety and weather information, and we encourage everyone on DIRECTV to cancel their subscription and move to any other provider,” said Koehler. “We want to keep people safe. If you can’t get the information, you can’t be safe.”
Koehler made it aware that The Weather Channel and DIRECTV are currently not in negotiation. Because The Weather Channel is so strongly trusted and followed, he asks that The Weather Channel viewers take action to ensure DIRECTV brings back the channel. With numerous opinions on the situation, how do you think the disagreement will play out?
This story was first posted on Hospitality Upgrade’s new blog, TechTalk on Jan. 23, 2014. Please visit http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/techTalk/Articles/DIRECTV/.