Friday, July 13, 2012

DirecTV vs. Viacom deathmatch?

DirecTV Satellite Dish
DirecTV Satellite Dish (Photo credit: JASElabs)

Just a few days ago DirecTV and Viacom decided to have a street fight the only way you do nowadays, in the media. In case you don't know what's going on, DirecTV is no longer carrying any of the 17 channels that Viacom owns. (Full disclosure: i have been a DirecTV customer for 12 years and i have friends who work for various Viacom entities) It all comes down to pricing. According to DirecTV they are being forced to raise customer rates to carry all the channels in the Viacom lineup and it could cost billions of dollars. Viacom says that the rate increase is really pennies. Who knows who cares either way it means paying more.  When it comes to the channels though it becomes more interesting.

Viacom's channels that are currently missing are:
Palladia, Centric, Tr3s, CMT, Logo, NickToons, Nickelodeon, TeenNick, Nick Jr., Nick@Nite, Spike, BET, MTV, VH1, VH1 Classic, TV Land, Comedy Central.

Ask yourself how many of these channels do you watch or even know you have? Lets assume that part of the deal was an all of nothing approach? For me I’m sitting here saying to myself wait I have all these channels? I legitimately watch less than half of them. Its no secret that I have BET blocked from every TV in my house, I don't need C1 ever seeing the hot mess on that channel, its been blocked for 10 years.

Now I could take the position of Viacom and say oh hell nah DirecTV is being a little bitch and we are the victims but then Viacom decided to pull all of its streaming of its shows. Oh Snap!! Now those of you who aren't DirecTV subscribers just got slapped as collateral damage. Sounds like a greedy company right there. I then started thinking to myself since Viacom is asking for more money what are they airing that’s worth it? This is the conglomerate that gives us Dora the Explorer (who I wish would explore herself off a cliff), Jersey Shore (crap I don't watch), iCarly (C1 loves this but its being canceled), Basketball Wives, (more crap I don't watch), The Legend of Korra (I watch the shit out of that series) and the Colbert Report (OK I totally miss this, maybe bears aren't the biggest threat...) What are they putting out that new and not a reality show? Happily Divorced? Why has that not been canceled? I just don't think they are in the “New” "Fresh” highly-rated programming position to command more money. Give us new stuff, I’m already waiting till 2013 for more Korra what's in it for me the customer? DirecTV thinks its cute by pointing out that people are on vacation, which i am, right now, at my grandparents house watching Midnight in Paris on her just installed DirecTV. Kids are out of school and playing outside, its usually somewhere int he neighborhood of fry an egg and cook bugs in midair outside, kids are inside watching SpongeBob and Dora scream.really.loud. Don't give me that nobody is watching anyway. Its repeats but people are watching.

This probably will not end well. While neither side is clean here choosing to cut streaming for non-subscribers becomes even dirtier but its going beyond the 20 million customer base of DirecTV.  Dish already is still having its fight against AMC and that's still dragging out. As more people drop paid TV in favor of the Netflix and Hulu accounts, I don't think the companies are realizing how this needs to work for the people who still pay for TV the old fashioned way.

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