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DirecTV Drops Viacom Channels 378

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
An anonymous reader writes "DirecTV has dropped all of Viacom's channels. This includes channels such as MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. The drop is reported to be over a carrier fee dispute. It appears programming content can magically disappear from satellite, too, and not just from streaming services. Viacom said it was 'because contract talks with DirecTV had “reached an impasse.” DirecTV, in turn, said in a statement that it had offered Viacom “increased fees for their networks going forward; we just can’t afford the extreme increases they are asking for.”' I guess pirating and physical media is the only way to make sure the content we pay for doesn't disappear."
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DirecTV Drops Viacom Channels

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  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:24PM (#40618569) Journal

    If you want to see riots in America, this will do it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:38PM (#40618819)

      If you want to see riots in America, this will do it.

      Not if you're with DirecTV.... Viacom's channels have exclusive rights to "Riots in America".

      Of course, if *all* the carriers refuse Viacom's fees, I guess you could say that the revolution will not be televised.

    • The revolution may or may not be televised depending on whether the carrier fee dispute is settled. News at 11.00. Maybe.
      • by FatdogHaiku (978357) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:04PM (#40620203)
        First they came for MTV,
        and I didn't speak out because it had died twenty years ago.

        Then they came for Comedy Central,
        and I didn't speak out because it's a big loop of the same old stuff.

        Then they came for the Kardashians,
        and I bought them lunch and a full tank of gas.

        I know E! is not owned by Viacom, but a person can dream, can't they?
  • by sanosuke001 (640243) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:25PM (#40618575)
    Aside from a few Comedy Central programs, I don't seem much here that I'd miss. MTV is full of BS "reality" TV and Nick is full of kids shows that are usually no Netfix if you need them and, being kids shows, they probably won't care if they're watching reruns (or notice). So, really, what does Viacom have that is worth paying increased fees anyway? It's not like South Park costs that much to produce (maybe FCC fees?).
    • by alen (225700) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:29PM (#40618633)

      my wife are cancelling cable next month after we realized that we're paying $165 a month for triple play and the cable part is mostly the same few kids cartoons that we DVR and watch multiple times and we can buy them on amazon for $10 PER SEASON and watch unlimited times

      dont underestimate the power of stupidity

    • by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:42PM (#40618879) Homepage Journal

      the bigger thing I guess is that if you had subscribed to a satellite service, signed up for a channel package and then *boom* it's out?

      - another angle to look at this is that viacom viewed directv as a good robbery candidate since they had contractually obliged to deliver these channels to their clients? ("hey, they can't drop us, they already resold the service we're selling to them hahahah")

      • by Obfuscant (592200) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @04:41PM (#40619843)

        ...since they had contractually obliged to deliver these channels to their clients?

        You can bet there is a thirty-day change provision in the DirectTV contract that allows them to change the lineup with a month's notice. Just like cable.

        Speaking of that, Comcast/xfinity customers in my town have just gotten a letter telling them that C/x are dropping ALL analog services on Aug 14. They're really helpful in telling people that they'll need to add digital adapters to any analog TV, and even say that there will be no monthly service charge for those adapters. They list the standard desktop box, the DTA, and CableCard as possibilities.

        Then in the next paragraph they say there will be a $1.99 monthly service charge for any device that is added.

        I hope my state AG will discuss this with them. Probably won't.

        The same letter tells us, indirectly, that we are losing all the Portland network stations (being in the middle, we currently get Portland and Eugene markets.) And we're losing the PBS station that is IN THIS TOWN, and will be getting the one from Eugene instead.

        I love Comcast.

    • MTV is full of BS "reality" TV

      The sad part is that after decades of nothing, MTV finally has a show worth watching. I came across Awkward by accident while trying to find something to watch in between commercials and while not hooked, I do enjoy watching it.

      The characters are fairly standard though Ming with her rabbit cap (or whatever it is) getting involved with the asian group (she's an outside asian) is getting hilarious.

      No, you'll never learn what a Higgs Boson is from watching it, but i
    • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:52PM (#40619069) Homepage Journal

      All the good parts of the Daily Show and spinoffs are available legally on the 'net anyway. So this wouldn't be a loss for me...

      but still I always hope that this sort of idiocy causes drops en masse. I wouldn't bet any money on that, however... it's just a hope that "consumers" might actually kick a corporation in the ass for being jackasses for once.

      • All the good parts of the Daily Show and spinoffs are available legally on the 'net anyway.

        How long until the sites that legally make The Daily Show and The Colbert Report available require the user to sign into an account provided by a participating cable or satellite provider? (See this Slashdot article [slashdot.org].)

      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        Or businesses would kick them in the ass, by saying "you want to charge me HOW much for advertising again?"
      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        All the good parts of the Daily Show and spinoffs are available legally on the 'net anyway. So this wouldn't be a loss for me...

        I don't watch the Daily Show (or anything else, since we don't have cable or any other pay TV service), but if there was a show I enjoy, I'm not sure I would find someone else's notion of the "good parts" satisfactory.

        If you enjoyed Game of Thrones, for example, how would you feel if I told you that from now on you're only going to get the "good parts" via YouTube?

        It wouldn't bothe

        • Actually, all full episodes of The Daily Show and Colbert Report were available and on Hulu. But, I just saw a story (published less than an hour ago) that said Viacom was suspending putting full episodes online due to this DirectTV thing. Very disappointed about that. Hopefully it will not last.
    • by demachina (71715) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @04:04PM (#40619253)

      There is a considerable hypocrisy in DirectTV's CEO looping a video on the down channels complaining about how awful it is that Viacom is forcing them to take all the channels as one package.

      I would love it if DirectTV let me buy the few channels they have we still watch ala carte for a small fraction of what they are charging for their packages.

      As others have said, Viacom expecting another billion dollars for their especially pathetic channel line up is over the top. Once you get past The Daily Show, South Park and Colbert there is absolutely nothing Viacom is offering that is worth paying for. And since they are all loaded with ads, why do people even have to pay for them like they are premium channels.

      I would also greatly appreciate if their boxes were setup to kill all the annoying shopping and religious channels they are carrying with simple switches. You can setup a custom guide without them but since they constantly move their channels around it is annoying to maintain it. Of course I imagine the shopping channels are paying them to force their channels down the throats of their customers so. . .

      One of the great mysteries of life to me is why people watch shopping channels or buy the crap they sell keeping them in business. Consumerism has achieved its ultimate goal when people actually sit and watch channels that are nothing but ads. The pinnacle of this phenomenon is I recently saw a shopping channel purportedly selling houses in Florida. Pretty much the last thing anyone should be doing is buying real-estate sight unseen on a shopping channel using an auction that is guaranteed to be rigged.

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        And since they are all loaded with ads, why do people even have to pay for them like they are premium channels.

        People don't have to pay for them as premium channels, at least not on any cable system I've gotten. MTV, COM, VH1 are the ones I am talking about, of course. The '2's are in advanced tiers.

        Viacom charges the cable and dish providers for them because they can.

        Of course I imagine the shopping channels are paying them to force their channels down the throats of their customers so. . .

        Cable carriers used to get a cut from the sales. I don't know if that's true still. But nobody is forcing those channels down your throat. Just don't watch them. Problem solved.

        What's a more annoying problem is what the morons at Comcast/xfinity a

      • by nabsltd (1313397) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:10PM (#40620309)

        There is a considerable hypocrisy in DirectTV's CEO looping a video on the down channels complaining about how awful it is that Viacom is forcing them to take all the channels as one package.

        I would love it if DirectTV let me buy the few channels they have we still watch ala carte for a small fraction of what they are charging for their packages.

        There's no hypocrisy at all here. The reason DirecTV won't let you pick individual channels is because their contacts with the channel owners won't let them.

        Companies like Viacom know that in order to allow providers like DirecTV to sell a la carte, they would have to price individual channels realistically, and they would get a lot less uptake, and thus advertising dollars (which are based on both actual and possible viewers) would go down. The affected channel list shows just how badly Viacom would lose possible viewers based on a la carte. Of the 17 channels, only about 4 could be considered "general viewership": 1 is gay/lesbian interest, 2 are aimed at African Americans, 4 primarily at children, 6 are music channels (well, maybe not MTV) with several aimed at specific types (Hispanic, country, etc.) of music.

      • by Fjandr (66656)

        I would love it if DirectTV let me buy the few channels they have we still watch ala carte for a small fraction of what they are charging for their packages.

        They'd go out of business, because all the networks that produce those channels will not license them to DirecTV (or anyone else) in anything but a complete package deal.

        So, if DirecTV (or anyone else) actually offered an a la carte service that was proportionally priced, they'd still have to eat the cost of all those worthless networks that nobody want

    • by matrim99 (123693)
      Well it's a good thing that all of their subscribers have the exact same taste as you, then.

      Sometimes, things that don't affect us at all will affect others in a significant way.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

      Nick is full of kids shows that are usually no Netfix if you need them and, being kids shows, they probably won't care if they're watching reruns (or notice).

      You don't have kids, do you?

    • by dmomo (256005)

      So. If you're a DirectTV customer, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't demand DirectTV make up for the lower value of the the service you are paying for. They should either lower their rates since they are no longer paying Viacom or add value for you.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Ya I watch a few of those channels. I know because for the last week or two I've been seeing a lot of those "Please call this number to keep this channel!" blurbs scrolling across the bottom, and this came from both DirecTV and Viacom, like competing political ads. At one point yesterday half the screen was taken up with these blurbs. It was a nasty fight. On the other hand I see the same blurbs about Dish TV also. Overall this fight seems to have ratcheted up quite high compared to disputes in the pas

  • they are all evil (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alen (225700) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:26PM (#40618593)

    we go through this every year or so

    Content owner wants more money and demands rate increase
    TV service operator says no
    content owner pulls channels
    viewers scream bloody murder and rape and demand tv operator pony up a few $$$ of their limitless magical bank account
    tv operator blinks first then raises rates
    viewers complain but don't do anything
    repeat in a few years

    the content owners know people are dumb and live by the monthly payment and will blame their cable or satellite company. they sell their channels in bundles and raise the rates every few years. people continue to pay the higher rates because they are too stupid to do anything else other than look at rectangle with moving pictures

    • by berashith (222128)

      I think that AMC and TCM are causing a stink with dish network right now also... so anyone who wants to watch walking dead is threatening to leave. Bonus to the content providers to time this together. The bundling really has to stop. I only want a la carte pricing anymore.

      • by alen (225700)

        isn't TCM part of time warner?

        you want a la carte? pay itunes or amazon. don't expect it from cable. not going to happen

        • by tepples (727027)

          you want a la carte? pay itunes or amazon. don't expect it from cable.

          So I guess people who want a la carte but also want political commentary or live sports are an edge case not worth serving, correct?

          • by Tridus (79566)

            People who want live sports are pretty likely to shut up and pay for whatever bundle-o-crap that the providers are selling.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Except that alacarte doesn't go to my TV. Technophiles with the houses all wired and unlimited broadband may love on demand but it doesn't work for most people.

      • Yeah, and my mom told me Time-Warner & ABC are having a pissing match (my words, not hers). You can't win, no matter which provider you have.

      • by ticker47 (954580)
        While a la carte would be nice, a lot of the channels bundled together would fail to grab enough viewers to make them economically feasible. You know that very few people will actually watch all 26 of those channels that Viacom has. Instead they'll opt to watch a two or three. Remove the bundling and all of the sudden the provider doesn't make enough money to keep airing all of those channels. A few might still make it, but a large portion of those channels would just cease to exist. When you lose chann
        • by Tridus (79566)

          Considering how many of the channels around right now are just a small handful of shows repeated ad nauseum, I fail to see why this is a bad thing.

          There isn't limitless money for content. Spreading it around more channels just makes everything have to be cheaper.

          See, the Storage Wars Channel (formerly known as A&E).

        • by jxander (2605655)

          Good. No, great! If a channel can't muster a lineup of shows that garners enough of a following to justify its own existence, let it die.

          I think you'll find a much higher quality of programming when people have direct control over what gets their support and what doesn't. I could easily pick 20 channels out of the 1000+ currently offered as part of the basic Cox package and never miss a beat. I'd even make this sweet deal: I'll pay 25-30% of the current price for 2% of the current content.

    • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:37PM (#40618785) Homepage

      The difference here is that Viacom does not own DirecTV. These so-called content owners pull the same bundling bullshit on distributors, which is another reason why unbundling should be mandated by law. Why should DirecTV have to carry (and pay for) a pile of shitty channels, just to get the one their customers actually want ?

      Yes, consumers are ignorant and too lazy to stick to their guns, but the problem doesn't magically stop at the distributor's head-end. It's a dirty industry from top to bottom.

      • by alen (225700) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:47PM (#40618955)

        we're probably close to the peak if we haven't passed it yet

        i've noticed a lot more people i know don't watch TV much anymore and like to read, go outside and do other things that were considered geeky and dumb when i was a kid.

        • we're probably close to the peak if we haven't passed it yet

          I think we're past the tipping point. I have small kids and they watch a lot of Netflix cartoons. Between that $7 a month fee (with an Internet connection I would have anyway) and a decent digital antenna, I don't have a lot of desire to switch back to the $110 per month Dish Network plan I'd had. Yeah, there's stuff I miss. No, it's not worth an extra $103 per month to see it. Netflix + OTA content is Good Enough for us - and apparently for a lot of other people, too.

      • by Jaysyn (203771)

        You do have to love how the distributors bitch that the content producers bundle channels & then go and do the exact same thing to the subscribers.

        Me? I don't care, I dropped cable years & years ago when I realized the quality was steadily decreasing while the prices did the opposite. Anything I really want to see I can get on DVD or watch for free online.

        • by alen (225700)

          they have to do it by contract in a lot of cases. for instance Disney says that ESPN has to be in the basic tier and everyone has to pay for it. of course ESPN recently signed an almost $20 billion deal with baseball or a combo of sports to broadcast games and access to a lot of coverage so they have to pay for it. the deal lasts until 2017 or so.

          its like catalog music sales from decades ago. the RIAA companies made most of their profits selling the same music in a new format or in greatest hits collections

        • by ooshna (1654125)

          You do have to love how the distributors bitch that the content producers bundle channels & then go and do the exact same thing to the subscribers.

          You do realize that is because distributors are forced to pay for those other channels whether or not you would choose some or all of them? Whether you would pick 5 of Viacom's channels or all 25 DirecTv would have to pay the same price. So if they did start offering a pay per channel service the prices per channel would have to be high to cover there losses.

  • by jaymzter (452402) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:29PM (#40618645) Homepage

    And nothing of value was lost.

    Any reason why Viacom or any other such wastewater producer can't just switch to streaming all their shows? I know not everyone has a computer, but I don't see why `channels` can't cut out the middle man in some instances and go directly to end users on a contract type basis. Maybe simulcast on cable for those that care and streaming only for those that want a la carte. Seems like a revenue source waiting to be tapped.

    • Re:Obligatory... (Score:5, Informative)

      by lobos (88359) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @04:55PM (#40620019)

      Any reason why Viacom or any other such wastewater producer can't just switch to streaming all their shows? ...Seems like a revenue source waiting to be tapped.

      As someone who covers media companies for an investment firm and spends a lot of my work thinking about things like this, they would lose out on a lot of money if they did that. Content owners currently have a dual stream revenue source. One are the monthly affiliate fees paid by you through the cable provider. The other is advertising. The content owners have been getting filthy rich through this model and have no desire to give it up.

      If they were to start going directly to the end users and charging you, chances are they would lose more money than they made under the old model. The first reason is there is no (or little) advertising in the model you are proposing. So your fees would have to cover all the money they make off of advertising. Which will likely never happen. The second is that, in the current model, many people pay monthly affiliate fees for channels they would not purchase on a standalone basis (this is the same reason why you will likely never see à la carte channels) and cable providers would demand lower affiliate fees, or drop the channels altogether, if the content owners started going direct to the end user. So your fee to get the streaming portion would have to be quite high because you are currently being subsidized by advertising and a lot of people who never watch the channel.

      I should note that I would love to see à la carte programming, but I'm just explaining why you're not going to see it right now. However, there may come a point when it starts happening. It really comes down to simple economics. If enough people start cutting the cord, or something else disrupts the current model enough, then they will start moving to other models. But right now it's way too lucrative for them to ever give it up.

  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:29PM (#40618649) Homepage Journal
    The problem is, both sides and neither side have the position of strength here. Viacom obviously wants the big bucks from the cable/satellite company, and the cable/satellite companies don't want people cancelling because you dropped the channels they care about. Maybe that's why there has been such a push for 2 year contracts on these services as of late. If the consumers are locked in the company could have a lot more leverage over the content producers.
    • In a typical house with kids, going without Spongebob may be your death knell
      • I have kids, and Nick has almost nothing of value. Disney on the other hand is a lot better. The writing for some of the new shows is really good. It's gotten a lot better once the Cyrus's quit/got let go. It's got sight gags for the kids, and it's got some intellectual humor for the adults. Now if they could play more than 3 shows a season, so that we can watching newer stuff more often. Or just play Phineas and Ferb all day (which I highly recommend all geeks on this site watch at least a few episode

  • Both CC and MTV used to have Descent programs and Music respectively. Since neither, have either, I'm good with that.

    • And even when they had them, they didn't know what to do. Liquid Television on MTV spawned Beavis & Butthead (hey, even if you hated them, they became pretty big) and Aeon Flux and whatnot, but LT itself was never nurtured or renewed or anything. It aired seemingly at random and never had new episodes. FFS, is it that hard to go out and find animated short films by students/amateurs who'd jump at the chance to have their work aired on a national network?

  • by Tancred (3904) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:30PM (#40618685)

    I was considering switching from Comcast to DirecTV recently. Without Comedy Central (specifically The Daily Show and The Colbert Report) I wouldn't switch. But what if I had switched and they dropped one of the main channels I wanted? Would I have grounds to get out of a term contract? Would I have to go to small claims court if they resisted?

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      It's not just Viacom shows. DirectTV also shitcanned G4 [wikipedia.org] a couple of years ago. Their cable line-up is looking a little thin these days.

    • by Spritzer (950539) * on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:46PM (#40618947) Journal
      Tough Luck.
      DirecTV Terms of Service

      (d) Our Programming Changes. Many factors affect the availability, cost and quality of programming and may influence the decision to raise prices and the amount of any increase. These include, among others, programming and other costs, consumer demand, market and shareholder expectations, and changing business conditions. Accordingly, we must reserve the unrestricted right to change, rearrange, add or delete our programming packages, the selections in those packages, our prices, and any other Service we offer, at any time. We will endeavor to notify you of any change that is within our reasonable control and its effective date. In most cases this notice will be about one month in advance. You always have the right to cancel your Service, in whole or in part, if you do not accept the change (see Section 5). If you cancel your Service, a deactivation fee (described in Sections 2 & 5(b)) or other charges may apply. Credits, if any, to your account will be posted as described in Section 5. If you do not cancel, your continued receipt of our Service will constitute acceptance.

      I would assume most or all other carriers have similar clauses.

      • by Tancred (3904)

        I had no doubt something like that was in the contract. What I wonder though, is how that holds up legally, given their advertising of channel packages. If that term of the contract was absolute, one month in to your contract they could change the price to $1000/month and cut everything but the golf channel. But I don't think they'd get away with charging their early termination / deactivation fees. So where's the line...?

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:31PM (#40618691)

    DirecTV has dropped all of Viacom's channels.

    ... DirectTV will, of course, lower their subscription fees accordingly.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If they were smart, they would.

      At least their customers would side with dtv if their bill dropped 5-10 bucks.

    • by PancakeMan (530649) <cdeliason @ s t t h o m a s . edu> on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:49PM (#40619013)
      I know you were joking, but just as a point of information, it looks like DirecTV is giving away the Encore channels in an effort at compensation while the Viacom stations are dark.
      • by crazyjj (2598719) *

        Well, they cut off our hamburgers. But at least they're compensating us with all-you-can-eat horse manure.

      • I know you were joking, but just as a point of information, it looks like DirecTV is giving away the Encore channels in an effort at compensation while the Viacom stations are dark.

        And that helps people that paid to watch Comedy Central how? I understand the effort from their point, but I'd rather have money back than access to something I don't want. (Sorry, we're out of the steak you ordered, so here's some Haggis [wikipedia.org] - enjoy.)

        Disclaimer: I'm not a DirectTV customer, just commenting on how their customer service doesn't seem to help either word "customer" or "service". But, hey, companies are people, my friend, and people make mistakes... (but they keep the money).

  • I wonder if there is verbiage in consumer's contracts that allow them to end it early with no fee due to an adverse change, similar to cell phones. People outside of the 6 month or 1 year promo pricing who are still in the 2 year contract might benefit from this.
    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      I read on another website that the opposite is true. There are terms that allow DirectTV to drop channels but the subscriber can't drop DirectTV after losing channels without paying the ETF.

    • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:59PM (#40619169) Homepage

      I wonder if there is verbiage in consumer's contracts that allow them to end it early with no fee due to an adverse change

      Yes. You can get out for $15.

      (d) Our Programming Changes. Many factors affect the availability, cost and quality of programming and may influence the decision to raise prices and the amount of any increase. These include, among others, programming and other costs, consumer demand, market and shareholder expectations, and changing business conditions. Accordingly, we must reserve the unrestricted right to change, rearrange, add or delete our programming packages, the selections in those packages, our prices, and any other Service we offer, at any time. We will endeavor to notify you of any change that is within our reasonable control and its effective date. In most cases this notice will be about one month in advance. You always have the right to cancel your Service, in whole or in part, if you do not accept the change (see Section 5). If you cancel your Service, a deactivation fee (described in Sections 2 & 5(b)) or other charges may apply. Credits, if any, to your account will be posted as described in Section 5. If you do not cancel, your continued receipt of our Service will constitute acceptance.

  • by bhlowe (1803290) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:31PM (#40618703)
    Yes, drop your comcast and DirectTV and just pirate everything! Nice ethical solution... (ducking)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This was precisely the motivation I needed to finally make the jump and cancel my TV cable/satellite services completely. For months I've been dancing around the idea of just picking up the TV shows I enjoy on Disc or using Netflix but I stuck around.

    I almost made the jump when this sort of bullshit was going on with AMC. But now that this is the second time this has happened I am done. Good luck sticking it to your loyal customers with either increased rates to pay for Viacom or by reduced quality of ser

  • I use Roku (Score:5, Insightful)

    by na1led (1030470) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:37PM (#40618789)
    Canceled my Cable Subscription, which I was paying over $100 a month for. With Roku, I have Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime, all of which cost less than $25 a month, plus my roof antenna for local channels. Internet TV is going to be the future.
    • by realmolo (574068)

      That's great, until ISPs in the US start moving to a "metered" service. Which they are already doing.

      You won't be watching all of your TV over the internet if you only have 5GB of data transfer/month.

      The solution? City-run internet utilities. They aren't as ridiculously greedy as the private ISPs are, and you can, to some degree, control how they run their operation by voting in city elections.

      • That's great, until ISPs in the US start moving to a "metered" service. Which they are already doing.

        meaning everything has come full circle. remember when many dialup connections were metered? (by the minute) that was one of the big selling points for cable & DSL internet because they were always on and un-metered...not to mention many times faster...

  • Regardless of the weasel words in the fine print of the subscription brochure, it seems to me that when you sign up with DirectTV and they drop channels simply because there was a cost change seems like a breach of contract. Costs have always changed over the years, up and down, yet DirectTV's prices seldom decline when suppliers offer programming for less.

    Holding your customers hostage seems to be the common tactic these days. Cities counties and states pass new taxes for one fluff package after another

    • by jnaujok (804613) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @04:15PM (#40619425) Homepage Journal
      So, you would prefer that DirecTV simply accept any rate increase of the content provider and pass them on to you? So, the $1B increase ($50/year/subscriber) should just be passed on to you? Like Viacom says, "it's only pennies a day."

      And once that precedent is set, when Disney want's another $5 a month, and HBO does, and every other network, and your bill goes to $400 a month, will you vent your anger at the content providers or will you scream at DirecTV for not attempting to argue with the content providers to maintain a fair rate?

      I'm no fanboi of DirecTV (although I do have it) but I'd rather they fought against a price increase even if it means temporarily losing channels, rather than tagging another $5 a month onto my bill.
      • by icebike (68054) *

        I prefer that Direct TV absorb the cost for the remainder of my contract, and raise it at the end of my contract, just like rent (because that is what it is).

        After all, the impasse is over a trivial amount [nydailynews.com]: "Viacom is asking DirecTV for a rate increase of a couple pennies per day, per subscriber."

        At the end of their contract with the providers they should give plenty of advanced warning to the customers, and if an impasse is reached, a price reduction to reflect the reduced content should be offered to the

  • for consumer reimbursement in such cases

    you'd see these situations get settled long before the consumer suffers

    but i guess the average consumer, because they don't have a lobbyist, doesn't get a say

    perhaps it is good then: no tv, maybe they'll get off their asses and agitate or vote

  • Net neutrality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:45PM (#40618925)
    Net neutrality: ensuring that the Internet does not become like this.
  • I think it's about Epix as well.

    HAY DIRECTV want to keep the Viacom channels then you must add EPIX in the tear that we want.

    Look out comcast you may be next.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:47PM (#40618957)

    Cancel your cable. Go outside and enjoy it while it's still free.

  • by Steauengeglase (512315) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:49PM (#40619015)

    They own the following (via Wikipedia):

    MTV, MTV2, MTV Tr3Âs, MTV Desi, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, mtvU, Nickelodeon, Nick 2/Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, CMT, CMT Pure Country, CMT (Canada) (10%), TV Land, VH1, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, BET Networks, BET, BET Hip-Hop, BET Gospel, Centric, Palladia, Comedy Central, Logo, TMF, VIVA and Spike.

    Of course the real loss there is Nickelodeon. Folks have to plop their kids down in front of something and no Nickelodeon or Nick Jr. means crying young 'uns and cancelled service. Not a pleasant thought if I were DirecTV.

    • Of course the real loss there is Nickelodeon.

      Of all these channels, the only one I really care about is Comedy Central, but I might watch something on Spike every once in a while. Do you think Viacom would be doing this if we could buy individual channels? They make money from ads which they bombard us with more and more every year. I think Viacom would be happy that their ads are getting to more households. I find it ridiculous that I have to pay for BET Gospel and CMT Pure Country when all I want to

  • by Gordo_1 (256312) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @04:01PM (#40619203)

    So I have DirecTV and was watching a DVRed show on ComedyCentral last night and noticed that Viacom had added a scrolling message to the bottom of the screen where they published the DirecTV customer service number and told everyone to call DirecTV to protest the removal of Viacom channels. So DirecTV allows that to stand, but shrunk the actual broadcast channel subtly, so they could fit their own scrolling message below the Viacom one telling subscribers that Viacom are greedy bastards that want to charge DirecTV a billion extra dollars for their channels.

    Hilarious. Then it went black at 9pm PDT and switched to one of those generic channel selector guide channels.

    Whatever... I guess I'll have to browse Youtube to get my fill of Tosh.0-style Internet video idiocy for a couple weeks until the babies work out an agreement.

  • The same thing happened with Viacom and Dish Network. The whole thing was just a bargaining tactic. As I recall, Dish Network lost viacom channels for about a day, and then they worked out a deal.
  • ... at least for me but I missed the days when they showed old movies OTA on late nights. Saw all kinds of films I never would have known to exist. I only had to put with watching ads with Cal Worthington and his dog Spot (which can be anything from a tiger to an armadillo) and ambulance chasing lawyers saying, "If you are involved in a serious automobile accident, you need to seek legal advice immediately!" [don't bother calling paramedics].
  • Broadcasting is dying, especially TV broadcasting

    DirecTV's one-way service was very interesting and high-tech in 1995.

    However, "broadband" Internet penetration has rendered this technology obsolete except in remote, rural areas.

    Comcast knows this, which is why they have invested heavily in Hulu. (The new) AT&T also knows this, which is why their UVerse service is another IPTV implementation)

    Like many other posters have written, why pay so much for satellite or cable TV, when you can pay a lot less to (

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