The Weather Channel is enduring yet another storm with a top pay-TV operator.
On Monday, Verizon FiOS (NYSE: VZ) dropped the channel, sending the following message to subscribers who tried to access the network: "Verizon's agreements to carry The Weather Channel and Weather Scan have expired, and have not been renewed. In today's environment, customers are increasingly accessing weather information not only from their TV but from a variety of online sources and apps. Verizon is therefore pleased to launch the new AccuWeather Network, which will be available on FiOS TV on channel 119/619 (HD) and on our free FiOS Mobile App starting March 10, 2015."
Weather Channel executives say they were caught off-guard by this latest blackout of their network. The channel was also dark on DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) for three months in 2014, an impasse that didn't end until Hilton Hotels--an important DirecTV client--insisted that a deal be made.
"FiOS customers have enjoyed a bundle of services from The Weather Channel including the network, WeatherScan, On Demand, a Weather Widget and streaming on mobile devices," reads a Weather Channel statement sent to Multichannel News.
"After recently renewing carriage agreements with NCTC, Cox and Time Warner Cable, we are surprised Verizon FiOS would deny their subscribers access to the best live weather coverage and expertise that only The Weather Channel can provide," the statement adds. "We urge FiOS customers to contact Verizon and voice their displeasure."
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