By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Verizon says dropping The Weather Channel was a ‘business decision’ — but will it cause some customers to drop FiOS?
Verizon says you don’t need Jim Cantore or Sam Champion to tell you what it’s going to do outside when there are so many other ways to get the weather.
“It comes down to money,” says Kent Gibbons, executive editor of the TV industry publication Multichannel News. “It always does.”
Gibbons says it’s all about leverage: networks with hit dramas and live sports have it; when there’s a blizzard or hurricane, The Weather Channel does.
“But under normal circumstances, it’s vulnerable,” he says.
FiOS instead will carry The AccuWeather Network, which Verizon says will allow it to “reduce overall content costs.” But The Weather Channel says it’s disappointed and was caught completely off-guard.
Hundreds of people have signed a petition for Verizon to reverse the move. Gibbons looks to a three-month dispute between The Weather Channel and DirecTV, and says FiOS just might:
“I do think that the precedent that The Weather Channel ends up getting put back on after other considerations are made. I would guess that would be the case here,” he says.