Well, it finally has happened. A dispute over fees between a satellite network and cable channel owner has hit millions of subscribers. Directv pulled 26 Viacom channels (Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, MTV, TVLand + others) at midnight.
“As recently as today, we made significant economic movement in direct conversations with DirecTV,” Viacom said in a blog post. ”However, despite our best efforts, DirecTV has rejected all of our proposals to renew our agreement. This evening, DirecTV provided Viacom with a counter proposal that included a lower rate than Viacom receives from any other distributor in the industry. With this offer, our negotiations have reached an impasse.”
On its website (www.directvpromise.com), DirecTV said it has “absolutely no intention of removing your favorite Viacom networks . . . but unfortunately Viacom executives sent a letter to us late last night, forcing us to take these channels down by midnight tonight if we don’t come to an agreement.”
DirecTV said it asked Viacom to allow DirecTV to keep the channels up while negotiations continue and that Viacom is seeing a 30% rate increase that would cost customers $1 billion.
The DBS provider urged customers to “ask Viacom to do the right thing and give DirecTV the permission to keep these channels on while we continue to negotiate. We will also ask Viacom to keep making these networks available during any of our private business discussion.”
With all the spin going on between the two, I can’t make heads or tails of it. All I know is that Comcast may be getting a call from me soon…or maybe ATT Uverse. Decisions. Decisions.