Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DirecTV vs. Viacom

As explained on DirecTV's page, Viacom wants a 30% rate increase for the networks they provide. DirecTV did not concede to Viacom's demands, and as of 11:46 PM last night, 20 million households lost 26 channels. Networks such as Nickelodeon, MTV, TVLand, VH-1, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, Centric, Spike, et. al.

My sympathy towards Viacom is at zero and while I would be quite angry if I were a DirecTV consumer, and even looking at some of the problems they themselves have caused with conglomerate disagreements (like what happened with Fox) and with steep rate increases, I have to give the subscriber a little credit for standing their ground this time and saying enough is enough for their viewers and that the rate increase was not happening.

There's a Facebook page that Viacom has launched to try and plead their case about their DirecTV battle, and get support from their consumers. It's quite hilarious. None of the consumers are falling for this at all. I'd guess well over 95% of the comments are anti-Viacom.

Also when reading the comments, I noticed several angry parents pointing out the fact that there are ads about this situation on Nick Jr's and Nickelodeon's websites. They have a very valid point here. You have to dig pretty down in the dumps to use kids to get your point about more money across like this. There's no denying it, too -- you know a bunch of children saw these ads and were not happy with the result. They're going to want their SpongeBob, they're going to want to see iCarly and Big Time Rush.

Does Viacom really NEED this rate increase? My guess would be no. These channels do well. Especially the ones seen in more households like MTV, VH-1, and BET. And when you count in the lengthy commercial breaks during all these channels plus the merchandise that's put out: DVD's, toys, etc., and the fact that they're a billion dollar corporation, still to this day, says that a "pennies a day" increase rate is not a bit necessary. They're in no way having financial problems. They just can't be. Not to mention, the economy is still in a dire state. A lot of consumers for that reason alone are not going to be up for any kind of significant increase. Not to mention, if it's a mere "pennies a day" increase, why are they fighting so hard for it?

Ridiculous greed-powered decisions like this are what drive people away from subscription television and are what takes them to places the Internet to get their entertainment.

All of a sudden, my complaints towards Charter Communications look like pretty small potatoes compared to this. Let's hope that for DirecTV that this mess is settled quickly. Because while I'm commending DirecTV, the only people I really have any actual sympathy for in this conflict is the consumers. They're the ones that are getting screwed the most.

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