I’m sure those of you that have DirecTV have noticed many of your favorite channels missing as of late. Both Viacom and DirecTV have established websites to give their side of the story. They are both publishing “up to the minute” updates blaming the other side for not closing the deal.
Here’s what I know…
When the UFC left Spike TV for the Fox group of networks that hurt Viacom BIG time. The UFC brought millions of viewers and advertising dollars to them. Since then the ratings have dropped somewhat and their profits have dropped as well.
Beyond that its he said she said really…below are the latest posts from each of their respective websites. First from DirecTVpromise.com
You may have heard that Viacom is trying to upset customers with some very loud rhetoric about negotiations breaking down. Their statement, intended for dramatic effect, is completely false. Please know that we are indeed continuing to negotiate with Viacom so they can return the channels to our customers as soon as possible. Just last night, Viacom made a proposal for the return of the 17 channels they dropped from DIRECTV. Earlier this morning, we accepted all material terms for those channels including an increase that was more than fair. We are ready to sign that deal immediately. What’s holding things up right now is that they are insisting that we launch the EPIX movie channel (an extra channel that DIRECTV has never carried) at the additional cost of more than a half billion dollars. Whatever way you slice it, the main issue remains the same. Viacom’s total price tag to continue carrying channels is just too high and will adversely affect our customers. And so, as we have done every day since this began, we will be back on the phones negotiating with the Viacom executives tomorrow so we can get closer to a final deal. We are too close to turn back now. The fact is Viacom and DIRECTV need each other so we will get this done.
Then from blog.viacom.com
UPDATE IN RESPONSE TO DIRECTV’S STATEMENT ON EPIX:
DIRECTV’s most recent press release regarding EPIX is one more complete work of fiction from the company. We’ve offered DIRECTV various compromise proposals — proposals without EPIX, proposals with EPIX, and proposals with significant incentives to carry EPIX. DIRECTV did not accept all material terms for our channels, nor are we asking for a sum of $500 million for EPIX. Nothing in the press release reflects the reality of the negotiations, which, sadly, are at an impasse.
In sharp contrast to DIRECTV’s public spin, it’s now clear that they have no intention of working with us to expedite a resolution and return our 26 networks to DIRECTV subscribers.
We know it’s been a long week for frustrated DIRECTV customers who lost their Viacom channels. Unfortunately, we have not seen any urgency from DIRECTV in working constructively with us on the compromise that could have already brought back your channels.
Here’s the official statement on the current impasse from Viacom:
We made a significant and comprehensive compromise proposal to DIRECTV last Thursday that could have resulted in restoring all of our services to DIRECTV subscribers by Friday morning. We have since made several additional compromise proposals – even as recently as last night – to find a resolution acceptable to DIRECTV.
Unfortunately, DIRECTV has moved backwards significantly and created more obstacles to reaching an agreement.
Rather than fulfill its promise to subscribers for a quick resolution of this negotiation, it now appears that DIRECTV will continue to purposefully and indefinitely deprive its subscribers of MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, TV Land, VH1, Spike, CMT and 18 other Viacom channels.
We sympathize with frustrated DIRECTV customers and hope that they will take advantage of the services of the many alternate distributors throughout the U.S. that continue to make Viacom’s popular networks available.
Despite our frustration and yours, we keep working towards resolution with DIRECTV. But we now know that’s not coming soon enough, and we don’t want you to miss our programming. We want to make sure you know that there are other ways to see it.
To find a provider that does carry Viacom channels, head to http://whenDIRECTVdrops.com/what-you-can-do.
Thanks again for your patience and support.
Viacom has also launched a campaign telling people to leave DirecTV and go with other cable providers so they can get these channels. Again this is my opinion…but if you leave DirecTV over this you are a fool. They have the best equipment, customer service and channel selection of any cable/satellite provider out there. This will get worked out, it just comes down to coming up with the right dollars and cents for each side. I think we will see these networks back on DirecTV sooner rather than later since Viacom will be loosing viewers and advertising dollars over this and that will hurt them ALOT more in the long run than holding out for a good deal.
*EDIT* I find it interesting after giving my opinion of the situation on Viacoms blog I can no longer acess the blog…I keep getting error messages when I try to go on the page…#thingsthatmakeyougohmmmm