DIRECTV was forced to bring 17 channels down Tuesday night, July 10th, after Viacom allegedly dropped its networks. This leaves the former to broadcast without the popular channels like MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and 14 others. According to the former’s official statement posted on its website, they were left with no choice but to bring the said channels down, otherwise the company will face legal disputes.
Derek Chang, DIRECTV executive vice president of Content, Strategy and Development said that both companies have already been in negotiation to close a deal and continue their partnership. He added that his company requested from the latter to continue the broadcast until a new agreement is reached but there was no response from Viacom.
The problem reportedly started when the latter wanted DIRECTV’s customers to pay 30% more.
“We have been very willing to get a deal done, but Viacom is pushing DIRECTV customers to pay more than a 30 percent increase, which equates to an extra $1 billion, despite the fact that the ratings for many of their main networks have plummeted and much of Viacom’s programming can be seen for free online,” Chang said.
DirecTV has over 20 million subscribers. With Viacom’s 30% increase demand, the former said that it will sum up to $1 billion or more. With typical TV market on the fall due to the rise of smartphones and mobile devices capable of offering the same service, a penny increase is a turn off to subscribers.
Both companies have issued official statements (links can be found at the end of the post) relating to their feud which heightened after they took refuge in social media to make an appeal to the people. Unfortunately, the channel blackout still happened, evident that an agreement hasn’t been reached…yet. The good news is, none of them cannot afford not to provide the channels they’ve been offering to their subscribers before. Thus, we can almost be certain a compromise should be done in the next few days or both will have to suffer great losses in revenue.
“We understand that Viacom’s actions are inconveniencing our customers so we are doing everything we can to help them find alternative programming until this gets resolved,” Chang assured DirecTV’s subscribers.