DIRECTV customers receive 17 separate Viacom owned cable channels, including BET, VH1, TV Land, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV. As of today Viacom has forced DIRECTV to stop airing all of those channels over a dispurte on licensing fees. Viacom suspended DIRECTV’s right to air the channels to try to make their 20 million customers angry, a fairly common tactic in these type standoffs.
DIRECTV claims Viacom is demanding 30 percent more – more than a billion dollars extra – for this programming. Derek Chang, DirecTV‘s EVP Content, Strategy and Development, told Deadline.com that ratings for channels including Nickelodeon are way down. “I don’t know how you reconcile 20 to 30% declines in ratings with 30% increases in rates, other than the fact that there’s some symmetry going both ways.”
Parents with young kids are sure to feel the heat eventually without the several flavors of the Nickelodeon channels that are now gone. I know at our house we’ve got episodes of most of the kids favorite Nick shows on the DVR, but it this drags on too long the kids are going to get antsy. The good news is that it is summer, which pairs a lack of new episodes with substantially less TV time in favor of outdoor activities.
As much as we like some of those channels, I’m with DIRECTV on this one. They’ve got a good deal with Viacom and they’re trying not to get screwed on this new deal. If they get screwed their customers are going to get that bill…