The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore was the latest casualty in the network’s nasty dispute with DirectTV, after SportsCenter with Dan Patrick show bumped him from the air as he was getting ready to report on weather conditions for the Super Bowl.
Dan Patrick — who is caught in the middle of the dispute — had booked Jim Cantore, one of Weather Channel’s brightest stars, this week to discuss the forecast for Super Bowl Sunday, as the game will be played outdoors in New Jersey.
DirectTV did not agree with that decision, as it owns Patrick’s show and carries it on its network. DirectTV stopped carrying The Weather Channel earlier this month, due to a contractual dispute and both networks have been at odds ever since.
The public jabs have been extensively covered by the media, following the announcement that DirectTV was dropping The Weather Channel for approximately 20 million customers on January 14.
Instead of Jim Cantore, Dan Patrick had Paul Douglas from Weather Nation, which DirectTV put in their line-up to replace The Weather Channel.
“We like Jim and thought, under the circumstances, that it may be a bit awkward for him to appear on a DirectTV-owned show so we let him off the hook,” said a DirecTV spokesman, who added that Douglas can “help us navigate through our weather needs for Super Bowl.”
When it was dropped from DirectTV, The Weather Channel demanded a penny per customer and argued the need for keep the network on air as it provides life-saving information to the public.
The Weather Channel’s viewership has suffered and DirectTV has criticized the most popular weather network of straying from its mission — uninterrupted weather coverage — and provides too many reality TV programs.
The parties have stopped talking and are now waging their grievances in the media.
The Weather Channel has asked that viewers take sides and arguing the importance of the information they carry — which is widely available online via the National Weather Service, including satellites and forecast models.
Jim Cantore — the most recognized name in the weather world — told CNNs Brian Stelter on Monday:
“I really think, when you kind of look at the Weather Channel overall, and you think about what happens before a storm, whether you’re an emergency manager’s office, whether you’re the National Weather Service or a local TV station, your first hint at what’s to come is from the Weather Channel.”
The statement created friction with government meteorologists and social media was abuzz with everyone sharing their opinion about The Weather Channel/DirectTV spat.