I posted this (in two parts) on another forum, but I'm posting it here as well, because this whole thing is just outrageous.
I've said that this network's problem is that they seem split between being Weather Channel, a network that airs live weather coverage, and WEATHER™, an entertainment network that happens to feature shows that are tangentially about weather and nature. They need to be one or the other, because Weather Channel can't be taking long stretches off from live coverage, and WEATHER™'s programming needs to be dependably scheduled.
But, with this whole DirecTV scare, they've made their choice, whether they know it or not.
They've been in live coverage continuously since at least yesterday morning. They show no signs of stopping. As a number of you have noted, all advertising and promotions for long-form/reality programming have ceased. In the usual promotional spots which air prior to Local on the 8s, they've either been running generic network IDs, the Cantore promo directing viewers to keeptheweatherchannel.com, and those image spots that say "THE WEATHER CHANNEL MATTERS". The implication is that, because the weather has gotten more extreme, the service that they provide is necessary, NOW MORE THAN EVER.
Nevermind that said weather forecasting resource ends at 2pm on weekends. Nevermind that, up until DirecTV threatened to drop the channel, they were hyping shows like "Highway Thru Hell" to death. Nevermind that the amount of live weather coverage has been dropping steadily for years now. No, they describe themselves as a service providing crucial public safety and severe weather preparedness programming.
Whether intentionally or unintentionally, The Weather Channel has ACKNOWLEDGED that the amount of long-form is too high. They've basically validated the complaints of DirecTV, its customers, and everyone here. If they're a weather service that matters, they've been doing a spectacularly poor job.
I'm not against long-form and reality programming. But if they are actively saying that The Weather Channel is a forecasting news service, they have to deliver on that promise. They can't simply go back to airing hours and hours of "Freaks of Nature" after this is all over. They have to commit to increased weather coverage.