Cloudy Forecast: Dish, Weather Channel Standoff Continues

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Dish Network subscribers were still receiving The Weather Channel as of 5 p.m. Eastern Sunday as carriage talks between the two parties remained stuck in a holding pattern.

The No. 2 satellite TV operator last Thursday said it planned to drop The Weather Channel -- claiming the network was asking for an  "unreasonable" carriage fee -- and replace it at channel position 214 with The Weather Cast, produced by startup WeatherNation LLC.

Dish's previous deal to carry The Weather Channel expired at 12:01 a.m. Eastern on Friday, May 21.

If it follows through on its threat, Dish would be the first major distributor to drop the 28-year-old cable channel and would eliminate about 14 million homes from the network's 100-million-household reach.

The Weather Channel is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, which acquired it from Landmark Communications in 2008. The network gets an average of 12 cents per month per sub, according to SNL Kagan.

In Dish's announcement Thursday, the company said The Weather Channel "has recently moved away from weather reporting to a mix of movies and other entertainment-focused programming... The Weather Channel is customized for cable and has never offered satellite customers the localization they require."

In its own statement Thursday, The Weather Channel said that Dish "has chosen to be the first distributor to drop The Weather Channel, rather than pay the standard industry rates others in the industry have already agreed to pay... We are disappointed with their decision and hopeful that we can still reach an agreement with Dish Network and bring this highly valued network back to its customers."

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