DirecTV customers are caught in the middle as the satellite TV provider and Viacom are embroiled in a bitter disputer over fees and licensing.
DirecTV dropped several cable networks owned by Viacom at midnight Tuesday night, including MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, SpikeTV, and Comedy Central after the satellite distributor was unable to reach a new fee arrangement with the cable giant.
Analysts now say the dispute could last weeks.
“I think it’s going to take a while,” said Nomura analyst Michael Nathanson. “It shouldn’t have gotten to this level and it did.”
the impasse centers around price increases Viacom wants to extract from DirecTV to keep carrying its cable channels.
“Viacom is pushing DirecTV customers to pay more than a 30% increase, which equates to an extra $1 billion,” said Derek Chang, DirecTV’s executive vice president of content, strategy and development. Chang says the increases are unnecessary given the declining ratings for many of Viacom’s channels.
DirecTV had suggested that its subscribers watch Viacom-owned programming via the web during the TV blackout, but Viacom, in what can only be described as a “dick move,” responded by taking episodes of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and many other popular shows off its websites.
The dispute got uglier after Viacom posted the following update to its Facebook page that took aim at the satellite TV provider…”Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? I don’t know, I’ve got DirecTV.”
This one’s going to be ugly, folks.
Looks like the only thing you can do at this point is wait it out – or switch providers.
- DirecTV subscribers lose Nickelodeon, Comedy Central over dispute (myfox8.com)
- DirecTV Drops Viacom Channels (huffingtonpost.com)
- 19 Viacom channels blacked out for DirecTV customers (fox6now.com)