DirecTV and Viacom are at each others’ throats once again, in a cat-fight that could rival any pair of teenage girls. While I would usually opt to avoid the drama, I take personal offense when I am prevented from watching The Daily Show, as well as any other program featured on popular channels such as MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, BET and Nickelodeon.
According to the New York Times, the two companies continue to blame one another, refusing to budge. The end result? Twenty-six blacked-out channels in over 20 million households.
Discussions regarding the amount of money Viacom should receive for their popular programs are not uncommon, but bringing the debate into the public eye is extremely rare. Considering both sides’ most previous statement, I fear there is currently no end in site.
“We proposed a fair deal that amounted to an increase of only a couple pennies per day, per subscriber, and we remained willing to negotiate that deal right up to this evening’s deadline. However, DirecTV refused to engage in meaningful conversation. We are hopeful that DirecTV will work with us toward a resolution and stop denying its subscribers access to the networks they watch most.”
No subtle pointing of the fingers there, Viacom.
And in this corner, a rebuttal from DirecTV:
“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.”
After rolling my eyes at the whole debacle, I headed online to watch my favorite blacked-out shows online through Viacom, but they went ahead and made that more difficult as well by removing several program from their site.
What an intereseting away to handle the whole affair. Somewhere in a tall office building in a big city, a PR/Conflict Management team are putting their heads together to develop a strategic campaign to keep users from jumping ship. I’ll have to stay tuned to this conflict, which shouldn’t be too difficult considering there are 26 less tv channels to distract me.
I just wish watching this battle play out was nearly as interesting as spending 30 minutes daily with Jon Stewart.