Direct TV vs. Viacom - I want my MTV!

Well, I don’t really watch MTV anymore, but still, I’m fascinated by this.

Article here - directv-viacom-dispute-may-affect-access-for-20-million-customers/

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.

The fact that The Daily Show and Colbert Report are off this week anyway probably isn’t helping Viacom either.

I’m a DirecTV subscriber, and since The Daily Show is available online (and has, let’s faced it, slipped in recent years anyway), the only thing I really will miss much is a couple of old shows from TV Land.

Direct TV will fold like a shirt. Customers are paying DTV for the channels, they don’t care about the fight with Viacom, and the customer service lines for DTV will burn longer and brighter than the Viacom lines.

You think that’s bad? DishNetwork and AMC are in a kerfuffle right now over a similar issue (AMC wants more money.)

Breaking Bad premiers this Sunday, damn it! Fuck you, Dish! Just give AMC more money! They have some of the best shows on television, they deserve it far more than the dozen or so ESPNs that, to my knowledge, get far more than their far share of the money.

I flipped on the TV yesterday and Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 was on. Scrolling along the bottom of the screen were dueling messages from Viacom and from DirecTV, each blaming the other for the dispute, and each contradicting the other’s claims about costs and whatnot.
It was hilarious. I wish I could have muted Tosh and had computer voices read them both aloud, it was like the Airplane white zone routine.

Well damn. I don’t have any of those channels now. I wouldn’t have noticed if not for this thread. Interesting.

Bouv’s post is my cite. :wink:

Yes, pennies a day per subscriber, which is about 20 million people. I don’t have a calculator handy to do that math, but depending on how many pennies we’re talking about 3? 5? 10? I can easily see that adding up to $1 billion.

Exactly. They are both being disingenuous. Every penny per day per subscriber is $73 million dollars. Viacom is claiming that every other provider is paying them relatively more which is a fair argument.

As a DTV subscriber, I don’t care that much. If I was about to miss the Breaking Bad opener, however, I would be feeling differently. :smiley:

The problem, of course, is that Dish would probably prefer not to carry a zillion ESPN channels either–but EPSN is part of the Disney/ABC family, so they end up having to take the all-Sportscenter channel because it’s only offered as a package deal.

It looks like the problem is the same with AMC–they are requiring Dish to carry IFC and WEtv, Dish can’t just pay to get AMC only.

In my consumer opinion, I pick a service for the cost, channels and how well it provides them. If the service can’t provide those channels I want, I’ll pick a different service which can. Whatever hand-wringing goes on behind the scenes isn’t my problem. You’re going to stop showing The Daily Show or Mad Men? Then I’m going to get a provider who’ll put them back in my living room. You think you’ll charge me extra for them now? You’d better hope your competition isn’t cheaper. It’s all TV anyway and AMC from Dish looks the same as AMC from Direct TV.

Luckily, I have Comcast which hasn’t been part of the Viacom or AMC disputes.

Ditto. I’d absolutely join any class action that got me out of my contract with them over Breaking Bad.

Not so much all of a sudden. Part of the dispute was how many shows were available online for free. (Hey, content providers and carriers: ALL entertainment is available online for free. Get over it and give it away yourself and get something in return.

Ha, ha. This is so amusing, since I have old-fashioned cable and don’t need to worry about any of this…

O.K., where’s my pitchfork and who do we need to go after? T.V. disputes are all fun and games until I can’t watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report online. Then it’s WAR!

I think Viacom is taking one heck of a risk. These channels aren’t that popular anyway. I haven’t watched MTV since the Osbournes went off years ago. Comedy Central?? I watch maybe once a month.

DirecTV needs to stand firm. Viacom needs an audience for their channels or they go out of business. DirecTV has plenty of content without Viacom.

You don’t have to worry about it this time, but sooner or later, the people who can deliver the viewers always fight with the people who can deliver the programs. Fox Networks has fought with DirecTV, Comcast and Dish, Time Warner has mixed it up with Viacom and Disney, Charter has fought with Belo and Sinclair, etc.

They all essentially boil down to: if you want our very popular network you have to a) pay more for it, b) carry our very unpopular network as well or c) both.

I don’t know. There are a lot of passionate viewers of Colbert/Stuart, South Park and the kiddie shows. This could be interesting.

I’m finding that DirectTV has about 20 million subscribers and that currently they’re paying about $2 billion/year to carry Viacom’s networks.

So that is about $100/year/subscriber. So the subscriber is currently paying about $8.33/month to get Comedy Central, Logo, BET, Spike, TVLand, Nickelodeon, Nick@Nite, Teen Nick, Nick Jr., MTV, MTV2, VH1, Tres, CMT, and Palladia.

Sounds like Viacom wants that to go up to $12.50 a month (a 50% increase in fee).

Looking at the DirectTV web site it seems the basic package (regular price) is $54.99. So for a basic subscriber on full price about 22% of your bill would be going to those 15 channels.

I’m guessing that Disney charges even more for whatever package gets them rights to ESPN.

BTW: A billion dollars spread over 20 million subscribers is about 27 pennies/day/subscriber.

Not that I would like a rate increase but i might say cave if AMC did this to direct, i will not miss the walking dead! and your right amc has really been doing well in their programming unlike viacom, which other than comedy central, i dont watch any of their other channels and theres only 4 shows ill watch on comedy central…theyve been slacking off

Direct made a good point though remember when they said if you switch then you’ll probably see a rate increase anyways in the future, if a bunch of people switch then companies like viacom will see that as an opporunity to attack the next company then then next and so on because they will know that they now have the leverage to say do what we want or you’ll lose business, if lets say direct loses enough suscriber to move to 2nd or lower, than the next #1 company who at the time you join might be the cheapest will have the same battle on their hands, dish is already in a different battle, if people stay loyal to a company like direct who dosent automatically take a deal like viacom is offering, then viacom loses a huge customer base and will have to change what they want, i wonder how many sponsers of viacom are getting a little antsy over this whole thing…

i say let them break up their packages, i dont need 30 different espn’s, nick, mtv, vh1 or many other channels, id love to do a custom package so i pay exactly for what i want