With the clock ticking, The Weather Channel launched a national campaign Saturday urging viewers to lobby Congress to garner support for its effort to stop DirecTV from dropping it from its lineup.
The campaign comes as the companies continue to battle over contract talks. DirecTV, a satellite carrier, has threatened to stop airing the program Tuesday if the dispute is not settled.
David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Co., said it would be "deeply irresponsible'' for DirecTV to take the program off air, saying viewers depend on the coverage, particularly for severe weather.
"As the most trusted source of weather news and information in America, The Weather Channel is there when it matters most,'' Kenny said in a statement.
Weather Channel officials are urging viewers to use social media, such as Twitter, and visit www.keeptheweatherchannel.com. They also want viewers to contact members of Congress for support, citing safety concerns if the program is not available.
"If we are not available to DirecTV's 20 million viewers, they will miss the accurate and life-saving information we have been providing for more than 30 years,'' Kenny said.
But DirecTV called the campaign a "negotiating tactic.''
"We remain in discussions with The Weather Channel on how to provide its service to our customers at the best value since people now use so many other ways to retrieveweather-related information,'' the company said in a statement Saturday.
DirecTV, meanwhile, said it launched WeatherNation as an alternative to provide "hard news weather coverage.''
It said the move to drop the channel was also in response to "numerous customer complaints that more than 40 percent of The Weather Channel's programming is dedicated to reality television shows.''
DirecTV said it also provides information on its emergency channels in the case of severe weather.
You may also like...
Weird Florida: A look back at some of the strangest stories of the year
Miracle Baby: Tampa toddler has 5-organ transplant
Broke Bad: Contest winner busted in synthetic drug ring
Here kitty, kitty: Lion escapes enclosure at Pasco sanctuary
Fake Cop: Man arrested 3 times for impersonating officer
Animal tragedy: Girl's miniature horse attacked by dogs
#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here