Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bye-Bye Weather Channel

This afternoon my wife Maggie and I came home from a long afternoon at a doctor's appointment for Nicholas, turned on the TV and discovered AccuWeather in place of The Weather Channel. It turns out, our cable provider Verizon FiOS had decided, with little warning, to not renew their agreement to broadcast The Weather Channel. There was little warning unlike last year's well-advertised dispute between TWC and DirectTV.

It's entirely possible that this is merely a negotiating tactic by Verizon FiOS to cut a better deal with TWC (DirectTV went on to pick TWC back up). There are also two other big factors. One; anyone with a Smart Phone, Internet access or tablet can almost instantly look up their current forecast. And two; The Westher Channel doesn't do much forecasting these days.

In recent years, The Weather Channel has tried to stay up-to-date with current American television trends, including reality TV. As a result, most of TWC's programming includes shows about wind turbines, swordfish boats, the Coast Guard and even good miners. While I'm sure these shows would find a respectable home on networks such as TLC or The Discovery Channel, I find that there's little place for most of them on a channel that is primarily about weather forecasting...or was at one point. It's often frustrating to turn to TWC to see what tomorrow's weather holds only to find a four-hour marathon of people digging in a mountain trying to find gold. Of course, it doesn't help that lately it seems TWC forecasts have been pretty awful.

While I recognize the importance of The Weather Channel, I believe that in today's age of information technology they are in danger of becoming obsolete as long as they continue this programming trend. If they wish to stay relevant and not be dropped my cable providers, they should go back to regularly forecasting the weather and do less reality programming. Until that happens, I'm not lamenting the loss of The Weather Channel from our available channels.

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