At midnight last night, a contract dispute between DirecTV and Viacom ended in the loss of 26 channels for DirecTV subscribers. Viacom channels such as MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, CMT, VH1, Spike, Logo and BET are no longer available to DirecTV subscribers as of today. Read below for a complete list of channels no longer available on DirecTV.
The dispute involves contract negotiations where Viacom asked for additional “pennies per day, per subscriber” for the right to air their programming. DirecTV, who reportedly has had the cheapest contract among major service providers, would not agree to pay higher licensing rights, claiming it would equate to higher costs for the consumers. DirecTV states that they are still in talks with Viacom to reach a conclusion, however no timeline has been established.
In the wake of recent Dish Network contract disputes that resulted in the loss of AMC, it seems that the battle for television content distribution is getting worse. Keep in mind that many of Viacom’s programming is legally available online through each channel’s respective websites, however many believe both parties will lose in this battle when consumers turn to piracy to watch the shows they want.
Should Viacom settle with DirecTV and attempt to make up the lost revenue with advertising money? Should DirecTV eat the cost of higher contract rates?
Let us know in the comments section below.
Since losing these networks, DirecTV has offered the complete Encore Channel package to all of its residential customers, while Viacom has removed most of it’s streaming programs from their networks’ respective websites i.e. Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.