Ordinarily I wouldn’t say much about this dust-up between these two. In truth I don’t have a horse in this race because my landlord has U-Verse here, and that’s what I use to connect to the Internet– and I rarely watch TWC these days.
A couple of weeks back I did have occasion to watch TWC in hopes of getting local weather. I was in a motel room in Lebanon, Indiana (a Northern suburb of Indianapolis, just so’s you know where to look). I had just had a go-around of getting my van unstuck in the parking lot, and it was kind of important to know what the weather was likely to do there that night. More snow would be bad, so would undue warming since it would make the snow turn to mush and make it much harder to get out the next morning.
I got a non-stop “Freaks of Nature” marathon. Not a weather forecast to be had. Not at the top or bottom of the hour, not “on the eights” like they once used to do, not any weather at all on the weather channel. Unless you counted the “Freaks of Nature” guys skiing on a mountain as “weather”.
Now they’re having a dust-up with DirectTV and trying to tell us that DirectTV is endangering our lives by not carrying TWC anymore. Excuse me, but can TWC offer proof of this?? That night in Lebanon, it would have been a little hard to make a case that anybody would miss TWC’s expert reporting of weather– since it didn’t actually exist. I had to wait until the next morning when a local station had the weather– NOT TWC, but a local Indianapolis station. TWC was still carrying “Freaks of Nature”.
So– do any of the people who use DirectTV actually miss TWC, or are they getting their weather reports elsewhere? My suspicion is that between local stations and upstarts that are jumping in to replace TWC, people are getting the information they need elsewhere, and TWC can take their reality-show glut and go disappear.
I’ve had a more positive experience elsewhere. Wisconsin’s rest-stops are plugged into DTN, and you can follow the weather at the rest stops so you can know what you’re running into as you travel. This past weekend, I had to drive to Valley City, North Dakota, and the Wisconsin rest stops allowed me to know about the approaching Alberta Clipper, and to know that I would have enough time to do my job, get turned around and make it back home before the Clipper got here. DTN did a fine job, and I could seriously wish all the states had it available at all Interstate rest-stops. Wisconsin has it, Illinois is spotty, Iowa has something that didn’t work well last time I was there but it seems that it’s their own system and not DTN, nobody else that I know of has it. When you find a rest-stop that has accurate weather reports and radar imaging for your route, it’s a Godsend for sure. If you know that it’s going to get bad, you can choose to hole up right where you’re at– you’ll be safe at the rest-stop– or if you see that conditions are passable you can choose– with some knowledge of the weather ahead– to continue on. I can’t stress enough how important that information can be when you’re on the road.
So: TWC has so far failed to make a case that their expert reporting of the weather will be missed, and if by chance DirectTV doesn’t carry it again it will be replaced by other stations that– oh, I know you won’t believe this– actually report the weather. On time, when you need it.