While the winds blew and the snow fell last week, Matthew Muratore, Chairman of the Plymouth Board of Selectmen, stood outside on Plymouth Harbor on Tuesday night to talk to an anchor from The Weather Channel about its vital programming, now missing from the channel selections of DIRECTV subscribers in Plymouth and elsewhere.
Muratore noted how important the constant weather updates were for the town of Plymouth to plan for the coming storm.
“We use The Weather Channel to keep people safe in town. Watching The Weather Channel really helps us to plan closures of town buildings and our public schools,” Muratore said.
He also noted that fishermen in the Plymouth area rely on the accurate forecasting done by The Weather Channel.
Muratore and several other public officials from across the Commonwealth, are speaking up against DIRECTV’s decision to drop The Weather Channel from its programming. Over 63,000 customers in Massachusetts have been affected since the change on Jan. 13.
Since then, the response from viewers has been overwhelming with millions visiting the website, www.keeptheweatherchannel.com. To date, more than 90,000 DIRECTV subscribers have pledged to switch their provider, but to do so, DIRECTV is requiring many to pay cancellation fees that range from $200 to $400.
The Weather Channel ran full-page ads in The New York Times, LA Times, The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal last week that featured an open letter to DIRECTV’s Board from The Weather Channel’s Chairman and CEO, David Kenny, asking them to waive the fees for those customers looking to switch.
“Public safety isn’t something you mess around with,” Muratore said. “There are a number of local residents that have to go without The Weather Channel for the rest of this winter season, and that could result in some uninformed decisions and lack of preparedness.”