Viacom Channels Returning To DirecTV After $600 Million Deal


It has been about a week since Viacom and DirecTV disagreed about the terms of a deal.  Viacom pulled channels like MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickeloedeon from DirecTV because the two companies failed to reach an agreement up until now.  DirecTV said that they are adding access to Viacom content on mobile devices, PCs, and other media devices as part of DirecTV Everywhere.   According to sources with Bloomberg, DirecTV will now be paying Viacom more than $600 million per year, which is about 20% more than what Viacom was getting before.  Below are press releases from the companies.

DIRECTV and Viacom Reach Agreement to Renew Carriage of Viacom’s Networks

All 26 Viacom Networks, Including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, CMT, Logo, Spike,
TV Land, MTV2, VH1, VH1 Classic, Palladia, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, TeenNick, Tr3s and Centric,
to Return to DIRECTV Immediately

New York, NY – July 20, 2012 -Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB) today announced that the company has reached a long-term agreement to renew carriage with DIRECTV.

All 26 Viacom networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, CMT, Logo, Spike, TV Land, MTV2, VH1, VH1 Classic, Palladia, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, TeenNick, Tr3s and Centric, will return to DIRECTV’s channel lineup immediately. As part of the overall carriage agreement, DIRECTV has an option to add the EPIX service to its entertainment offerings.

Viacom is extremely pleased to bring its programming back to DIRECTV subscribers, and thanks everyone affected by the disruption for their patience and understanding during this challenging period.


DIRECTV and Viacom Reach Agreement for Return of Viacom’s 17 Channels Including Extensive New Digital Rights for DIRECTV Customers

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– DIRECTV has reached a new long-term agreement with Viacom to restore 17 channels (including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, Spike, CMT, TV Land and ten other channels) that Viacom had taken away from DIRECTV customers on July 10. Viacom has returned all affected networks.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

In addition to the channels’ return, DIRECTV customers will also gain the ability to see Viacom programming on tablets, laptops, handhelds and other personal devices via the DIRECTV Everywhere platform. Carriage of the EPIX movie channel is not required as part of the new agreement.

“We are very pleased to be able to restore the channels to our customers and thank them for their unprecedented patience and support,” said Derek Chang, executive vice president of Content Strategy and Development for DIRECTV. “It’s unfortunate that Viacom took the channels away from customers to try to gain leverage, but in the end, it’s clear our customers recognized that tactic for what it was.”

Chang added, “The attention surrounding this unnecessary and ill-advised blackout by Viacom has accomplished one key thing: it serves notice to all media companies that bullying TV providers and their customers with blackouts won’t get them a better deal. It’s high time programmers ended these anti-consumer blackouts once and for all and prove our industry is about enabling people to connect to their favorite programs rather than denying them access.”

The dispute helped generate significant public support from hundreds of thousands of customers and also, surprisingly enough, many high-profile DIRECTV competitors. The 850 small and independently owned local cable systems that make up the American Cable Association joined the anti-blackout chorus, as did Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Mediacom.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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