Nickelodeon, Comedy Central And MTV To Return To DirecTV Lineup
This was never a standoff built to last.
Lo and behold! It didn't. Viacom, Inc. and DirecTV jointly announced Friday that the mass media conglomerate and satellite cable giant have struck an accord that will return MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and 14 other networks to DirecTV's customers. The Associated Press indicated that neither side has disclosed any terms.
About 20 million DirecTV customers paid the price July 10 and have been without those networks' service the past week and a half when Viacom wanted more money than DirecTV was willing to fork over to carry Viacom's networks.
Think of it like a prize fight. DirecTV rocked Viacom by holding out and dropping the networks. Viacom then stumbled off the ropes and countered with a right-hook of their own: shutting off full-length episode access on MTV.com and ComedyCentral.com after DirecTV threw a jab explaining to subscribers that they could still catch shows like "Jersey Shore," "The Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show" on the respective networks' internet homes.
However, Viacom gassed out in the late rounds: by Tuesday, full episodes of "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" had been reinstated to ComedyCentral.com, a day after both shows ended a two-week hiatus.
Of course, DirecTV has been a complete sport about this whole thing.
"The attention surrounding this unnecessary and ill-advised blackout by Viacom has accomplished on 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," said DirecTV executive vice president of content strategy and development Derek Chang via statement.
DirecTV's statement further claimed that about 850 competitors including Mediacom, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable vocally opposed Viacom's actions. Viacom, in turn, thanked customers "for their patience and understanding during this challenging period."