Due to a dispute with Viacom, Directv may drop 17 channels from their lineup today including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
Viacom writes on its website:
“As of midnight on Tuesday, July 10, DirecTV will drop 26 Viacom channels, including Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1, CMT, Spike TV, TV Land and more. Viacom is the most watched programmer on DirecTV. Nickelodeon is the most watched cable network on DirecTV. We regret that DirecTV refuses to consider a fair deal that recognizes the value of Viacom programming.”
This blackout would affect 19.9 million households in the United States. Negotiations between the two companies have hit an impasse as Viacom wants a 30 percent increase in bundled channel fees.
While Directv is willing to increase their rates, they aren’t willing to pass such a high cost onto their customers.
Viacom is unwilling to allow customers to choose their channels on an individual basis, but Directv hopes to change that.
“Despite our best efforts, DirecTV has rejected all of our proposals to renew our agreement. This evening, DirecTV provided Viacom with a counter proposal that included a lower rate than Viacom receives from any other distributor in the industry. With this offer, our negotiations have reached an impasse. This means that, as of tomorrow night, nearly 20 million DirecTV subscribers will be without entertainment from the programmer they watch most. “
Speaking to the New York Times, Direct TV said they would purchase only some Viacome Channels:
“Programmers like Viacom typically won’t allow anyone to buy their channels individually, but we hope to change that… We currently pay them hundreds of millions of dollars every year already, and if Viacom thinks their networks are worth a billion more, then you have to be able to select what’s most important in your own living room. It’s your money, so you should be able to decide.”
The debate on bundled services is currently being investigated by government regulators.
Seventeen Viacom networks are affected: Palladia, Centric, Tr3s, CMT, Logo, NickToons, VH1 Classic, TeenNick, Nick Jr., Nick@Nite, Spike, BET, VH1, TV Land, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.