Well, I don’t really watch MTV anymore, but still, I’m fascinated by this.
Basically, Viacom wants a raise, and Direct TV is standing firm. All Viacom channels, including all Nickelodeon, MTV/VH1, and Comedy Central, went off the air an hour ago.
I don’t really care, but I’m fascinated at how the companies are spinning this. DirectTV keeps saying “a $1 billion increase” while Viacom says “pennies a day”. Direct TV says they want you to pay more for the same thing, while Viacom says that Direct TV has more than enough profit to eat the cost.
At this point, I think Direct TV has the upper hand - they are the ones who are saying that Viacom is going to cost Joe Sixpack more money. They also are advocating a la carte channels, and in a stroke of genius, have links on their dispute webpage to all the services where you can watch Viacom shows for free, or streaming through Netflix, Amazon, etc., which is also searchable by channel, show, etc.
Direct TV are pulling this off like total pros, while Viacom just looks like a dinosaur from the pre-internet days.