Variety reports that The Weather Channel unexpectedly announced today that it is returning to the DirecTV channel lineup tomorrow after agreeing to reduce its reality programming by half on weekdays, and its CEO David Kenny apologized for the ugly public flap.
To get back on the 20 million-subscriber service, Weather Channel has agreed to reduce reality programming by half on weekdays; return instant local weather and allow DirecTV customers to watch The Weather Channel's video programming on multiple devices inside and outside the home, so long as they can prove they are subscribers.
The announcement comes just days after WeatherNation, The Weather Channel's main competitor and ultimate replacement on DirecTV, signed a 'multi-year' contract with the satellite provider, and the dispute seemed over.
The deal with WeatherNation might have been what made The Weather Channel cry uncle.
"Our apologies to DIRECTV and their customers for the disruption of our service and for initiating a public campaign," said David Kenny, CEO of the Weather Company, parent to The Weather Channel. "Our viewers deserve better than a public dispute and we pledge to reward their loyalty with exceptional programming and more weather focused news."
"It's a shame these disputes are played out on a public stage, but I'm pleased that we've been able to work together with The Weather Channel in a way that will benefit everyone," said Dan York, DIRECTV's chief content officer. "I know this was frustrating for many of our customers, but their patience was ultimately rewarded with a better deal and a better product."
The Weather Channel will return to channel 362 in DirecTV's lineup. WeatherNation occupies both channels 361 and 362, so at the present it appears that WeatherNation will remain on 361.
Who knew the weather business could be so dramatic?
[Screenshot via "Keep The Weather Channel"]