As Talks Fail, 20 Million DirecTV Customers Lose Viacom Networks

Jul 11, 2012  •  Post A Comment

After Viacom and DirecTV failed to reach a new agreement before midnight, DirecTV’s almost 20 million customers lost access to Viacom’s 26 networks, reports Bloomberg.

Viacom demanded its networks, including MTV and Comedy Central, be removed from DirecTV and said it wouldn’t respond to a new offer that was sent July 9, according to a statement from DirecTV.

"Viacom sent us a letter last night that outlined our obligations to remove the channels by midnight or face legal action," says the statement from Derek Chang, DirecTV’s executive vice president of content, strategy and development.

The standoff is the latest between a pay-TV provider and a content supplier, with a previous fight affecting 14 million Dish customers who lost access to AMC last month, the story points out.

DirecTV dropped Viacom’s networks, which include nine high-definition versions of the 17 Viacom cable networks carried by DirecTV, 10 minutes before midnight, the story says.

As previously reported, both companies have put their own spins on the dispute, with Viacom claiming DirecTV had rejected its "best efforts," including a lower rate than it receives from any other distributor. For its part, DirecTV claimed Viacom wants subscribers to pay 30% more.

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