Friday, July 20, 2012

DirecTV and Viacom make a deal, brings MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and the rest back on air

Users of DirecTV satellite TV service will be able to breath a sign of relief today, because a deal between Viacom and DirecTV has been reached.

For the past week or so, Viacom and DirecTV have been in a "disagreement" to say the least; Viacom was demanding more money (1 billion) for the exact same channels, and DirecTV just wasn't going to take sitting down. What happened is that DirecTV didn't agree, and so Viacom's channels were pulled off of DirecTV's lineup. Most users were not upset at this, and instead were supporting DirecTV's move.

Again, today those two have reached an agreement, and those channels are now back on DirecTV's program guide. No financial details have been released, but according to Bloomberg"people with direct knowledge" claim the new agreement is another seven year contract priced at more than $600 million per year, about 20 percent more than what Viacom was getting before. The movie channel EPIX was offered, but DirecTV does not have to add it to its programming packages. Viacom content is returning to tablets, phones, etc. due to the DirecTV Everywhere service.

DIRECTV and Viacom Reach Agreement to Renew Carriage of Viacom's Networks

All 26 Viacom Networks, Including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, CMT, Logo, Spike,
TV Land, MTV2, VH1, VH1 Classic, Palladia, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, TeenNick, Tr3s and Centric,
to Return to DIRECTV Immediately

New York, NY – July 20, 2012 -Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB) today announced that the company has reached a long-term agreement to renew carriage with DIRECTV.

All 26 Viacom networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, CMT, Logo, Spike, TV Land, MTV2, VH1, VH1 Classic, Palladia, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, TeenNick, Tr3s and Centric, will return to DIRECTV's channel lineup immediately. As part of the overall carriage agreement, DIRECTV has an option to add the EPIX service to its entertainment offerings.

Viacom is extremely pleased to bring its programming back to DIRECTV subscribers, and thanks everyone affected by the disruption for their patience and understanding during this challenging period.


DIRECTV and Viacom Reach Agreement for Return of Viacom's 17 Channels Including Extensive New Digital Rights for DIRECTV Customers

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- DIRECTV has reached a new long-term agreement with Viacom to restore 17 channels (including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, Spike, CMT, TV Land and ten other channels) that Viacom had taken away from DIRECTV customers on July 10. Viacom has returned all affected networks.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

In addition to the channels' return, DIRECTV customers will also gain the ability to see Viacom programming on tablets, laptops, handhelds and other personal devices via the DIRECTV Everywhere platform. Carriage of the EPIX movie channel is not required as part of the new agreement.

"We are very pleased to be able to restore the channels to our customers and thank them for their unprecedented patience and support," said Derek Chang, executive vice president of Content Strategy and Development for DIRECTV. "It's unfortunate that Viacom took the channels away from customers to try to gain leverage, but in the end, it's clear our customers recognized that tactic for what it was."

Chang added, "The attention surrounding this unnecessary and ill-advised blackout by Viacom has accomplished one key thing: it serves notice to all media companies that bullying TV providers and their customers with blackouts won't get them a better deal. It's high time programmers ended these anti-consumer blackouts once and for all and prove our industry is about enabling people to connect to their favorite programs rather than denying them access."

The dispute helped generate significant public support from hundreds of thousands of customers and also, surprisingly enough, many high-profile DIRECTV competitors. The 850 small and independently owned local cable systems that make up the American Cable Association joined the anti-blackout chorus, as did Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Mediacom.