Weather Channel cuts reality shows in DirecTV deal

LOS ANGELES — The Weather Channel is returning to DirecTV with a significant compromise that affects all of its viewers: it promises to focus more on the weather.

After a three-month dispute with DirecTV that saw the channel dropped to some 20 million U.S. viewers, the two sides came to a new deal that will restore service on Wednesday.

The biggest change to its programming will affect all Weather Channel viewers, not just DirecTV subscribers. It said it will reduce its reality programming by half on weekdays. That means fewer airings of TV shows like “Coast Guard Alaska” and “Hurricane Hunters.”

David Kenny, the CEO of channel parent Weather Company, apologized for the disruption and vowed to reward viewers with more weather-focused news.

The deal will also allow DirecTV customers to have instant access to local weather information and to watch Weather Channel programming on mobile devices if they provide their subscriber information.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

DirecTV chief content officer Dan York acknowledged the dropping of the channel was “frustrating” for consumers, but added “their patience was ultimately rewarded with a better deal and a better product.”

DirecTV will also keep running WeatherNation, the channel it first picked up to replace The Weather Channel when the dispute started. It announced a multiyear deal with WeatherNation TV Inc. last week.

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