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

Jul 19, 2012  •  Post A Comment

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.


  1. “I really don’t see any end in sight…” says the Viacom spokesperson…
    That’s what she says now, until of course the ratings come in and advertisers start demanding refunds from Viacom for the lack of viewers that are being delivered without having all of the DirecTV customers able to see the programs.
    Eventually I expect Viacom will cave because they’ll need to get those viewers back beforer too much time passes and people are reminded that they really don’t [b][i]NEED[/i][/b] any of these channels.

  2. I guess that depends how many people are canceling their DirecTV packages because they can’t watch their favorite kids shows, late night talk shows or whatever.
    If I was a DirecTV subscriber, I’d be screaming at them and calling up Dish or Verizon or whoever else I could…

    Here’s another opportunity for the FCC to consider giving viewer’s the choice. Let cable/satellite customers chose which networks they want on their cable bill. I watch about ten channels and yet have to pay for ton of options that just pollute my families’ options.
    Then there’s no in-fighting over which channels are carried or not. Customer’s decide on individual channel’s popularity and ratings help determine it’s price. We’d have far fewer cable channels, less public disputes, and put the control in the customer’s hands.
    Don’t put our choices in the hands of the MSO’s and the cable networks. They have single handedly turned great networks into exploitive traps:
    –Arts & Entertainment used to be Masterpiece Theater…now it’s A&E with Dog Bounty Hunter, Storage Wars and Barter Kings.
    –History used to truly feature historic events…now it’s Ice Road Truckers, Mountain Men and Swamp People.
    –The Learning Channel used to be about learning…now it’s about child exploitation with Toddler’s and Tiaras, and the bizarre in Strange Sex and Hoarding.

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