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Verizon FiOS drops the Weather Channel

Verizon FiOS drops the Weather Channel--and phone app is partially to blame

Verizon has given the cold shoulder to the Weather Channel.

The telecommunications company said its contract to carry the Weather Channel and Weather Scan on its FiOS TV service expired, and it has opted not to seek renewal. While desire to reduce content costs played a role in the decision, another culprit is the shift in ways customers are getting their weather information.

"In today’s environment, customers are increasingly accessing weather information not only from their TV but from a variety of online sources and apps," read part of a statement provided by Verizon spokesperson Jarryd R. Gonzales.

That's not to say that Verizon FiOS' 5.6 million subscribers will be without weather news options. It launched the new AccuWeather Network and its mobile app earlier this week. The company also provides the FiOS TV WeatherBug "widget" application, which highlights local weather, on another channel.

The Weather Channel, which saw ratings gains in February with its storms and severe weather coverage, said it was "disappointed" it had been dropped.

"[Verizon] have made it clear to us that they no longer wish to negotiate, despite our desire to continue to serve their subscribers," read the network's statement. The network also urged FiOS customers to complain.

Last year, the Weather Channel faced a storm with DirecTV, which dropped the channel for three months before it was brought back. As part of the resolution, the Weather Channel agreed to reduce the amount of reality programming.  (DirecTV also kept on WeatherNation, which it brought on to replace the Weather Channel.)

Despite its most recent carrier troubles, the Weather Channel still remains widely available. It recently renewed agreements with major cable providers, Cox and Time Warner Cable.

I tweet about TV (and other things) here: @villarrealy

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