Direct TV Drops 26 Channels : What This Means For Subscribers
As of today Satellite TV operator DirecTV dropped 26 Viacom channels from its service following a negotiation gone bad over the network's carriage fees. So what does this mean?
It means Direct Customers will no longer be able to see music channels like MTV, BET, VH1, CMT or Nickelodeon and Comedy Central and that's just to name a few. So there goes, Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta, Hollywood Exes, MTV Music Awards, 106 and Park....all of that.
DirecTV offers cable TV service to nearly 20 million subscribers. The question is, will they remain subscribers after losing all these channels. According to reports, in recent days reports of Viacom's flagging ratings have caused some analysts to cut the company's stock rating. That being said, this ratings issue came up in the negotiations between the two companies and lets just say, it didn't go well.
In a statement on DirecTV's website , Direct executive vice president of Content Derek Chang said "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."
Meanwhile, Viacom pushed back and released an official statement of their own, sighting that the company "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." Adding that their "agreement with DirecTV is seven years old -- ancient by the standards of the ever-evolving media industry -- which means that DirecTV has enjoyed way-below-market rates for Viacom's networks for a very long time." Viacom claims their network is the most-watched network operator on DirecTV, attracting about 20 percent of all its viewing, while claiming it only receives 5 percent of DirecTV's programming spend.
So, what is DirecTV going to replace all those channels with? According to them, the network will begin substitute programming including airing content from the Disney Channel, ABC Family, Cartoon Network, PBS Sprout, The Hub and Boomerang.