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DirecTV Says Talks With Viacom Have Broken Down Because of One Channel LA Times

DirecTV said talks with Viacom have broken down due to the cable network owner's insistence that the satellite broadcaster carry its movie channel Epix, reports Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times' Company Town blog.

DirecTV said the company had reached a new agreement in principle on Tuesday to carry Viacom's networks, but then Viacom tried to force carriage of pay-TV network Epix, at a cost of more than $500 million, the article says, citing a statement from DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer.

"We know our customers don't want to pay such an extreme price for an extra channel," Mercer said.

Viacom said the statement is "complete fiction" and that it has offered proposals both with and without Epix. Viacom earlier on Wednesday said it was breaking off talks because the satellite broadcaster had shown little flexibility.

"I really don’t see any end in sight, truthfully," said Denise Denson, Viacom's executive vice president of content distribution, according to the story.