Viacom's Networks Return to DirecTV

Categories: 1-Featured,TV Business

Written By

July 20th, 2012

The 10 day impasse is over and DirecTV and Viacom reached an agreement to renew carriage of Viacom's channels.  It's six hour old news at this point, but still a big deal for fans and anti-fans of Viacom's channels' shows. 

Note: Thursday's numbers which we'll post this afternoon were still affected by the dispute but the numbers for Friday (which won't be posted until Monday) won't be.

via DirecTV:

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

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--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.


DIRECTV (NASDAQ: DTV) is one of the world’s leading providers of digital television entertainment services delivering a premium video experience through state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming and industry leading customer service to 33 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America. In the U.S., DIRECTV offers its 19.9 million customers access to more than 170 HD channels and Dolby-Digital® 5.1 theater-quality sound, access to exclusive sports programming such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, Emmy-award winning technology and higher customer satisfaction than the leading cable companies for 11 years running. DIRECTV Latin America, through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and other Latin American countries, leads the pay-TV category in technology, programming and service, delivering an unrivaled digital television experience to 12 million customers. DIRECTV sports and entertainment properties include three Regional Sports Networks (Northwest, Rocky Mountain and Pittsburgh) as well as a 60 percent interest in Game Show Network. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please visit

via Viacom:

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, 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.


  • jimbo

    Wonder how much this will cost US!!!

  • Robert Seidman

    Bloomberg reports DirecTV will pay Viacom $600 million, a 20% increase. So by that math, DirecTV is paying $100 million more a year than before. Based on that I’d look for increases of ~$.40-$.80 per month so less than a dollar a month either way. That’s a back of a napkin amortizing of the $100 million across all ~20 million of DirecTV’s subscribers, and then figuring ~40 cents would be a wholesale markup, and 80 cents retail markup.

  • NEK38583

    That is why I don’t have satlite. You never hear of this with cable companies.

  • Josh

    @NEK38583: Most of the big cable companies can afford to pay whatever the networks demand because they’re being subsidized by Internet sales. They can operate with narrower TV margins simply by jacking up the price of internet access (or lowering their service costs) and offsetting the difference. DirecTV and Dish don’t have that luxury.

  • Nathan (NR2012)

    Just in time for that big spongebob special, which is sure to deliver some good ‘ol ratings.

  • Hillbilly

    Just set DVR to record Misfits. :) I hope its worth the wait.

  • Aerilyn

    Finally got Teen Wolf and Awkward. back on my television again!

  • I luv nickelodeon


  • Steve

    DirecTV’s CEO posted a video on their website on the day the channels were removed, promising customers “we WILL work this out”. And they did. Contrast that to Dish’s actions in the AMC dispute, where Dish’s management has acted like a bunch of jerks to their customers throughout the dispute.

  • JJ

    SWEET!!! The Super Spongy Square Games Marathon Is SAVED!! Nick might actually win the week

  • Eric McInnis

    @Nathan I know. I hope Nick gets successful for the Spongebob marathon. I have doubts it will be that big though. Why? One thing: Dark Knight Rises.

  • Kyle32

    Wow, that DirecTV press release is sure full of bitter and blame. If you successfully worked out a solution, doesn’t it behoove you to not lash into the content provider-and spin it as solely their fault for the impasse, that you’ll be back at the table with in a few years.

  • Babygate

    I really don’t care about any of Viacom’s channels except maybe TVLand and that’s not even a necessity. I just didn’t want my premium to go up. A dollar here and a dollar there and it starts adding up.

  • Kaylie

    Well Spongebob could possibly do well this weekend. But recovering from that long week of no Nickelodeon may hurt them. But Im really glad that its gonna be a fair battle between Nickelodeon and Disney Channel.

    I still dont think Nick’s gonna win the week, considering they’d have 3 days to play catch up.

  • JJ

    I totally agree. No more excuses, lies, or whining. A fair fight between 2 rivals.

  • Tom

    @Robert Earlier this year, DTV justified its annual 4% subscriber rate hike on an alleged 10% increase in operating costs. This is at least the fourth consecutive rate hike for base packages and does not include additional hikes for premium channels and DVRs. Broadcast programming and other subscriber services make up sightly more than 50% of DTV’s operating expenses. However, broadcast premiums did not increase anywhere close to the aforementioned 10%. So, I’d say there’s a good deal more than payments to Viacom et al. behind DTV’s rate hikes. One of those is funding discounts for new subscribers by raising rates on existing ones. That sort of Ponzi scheme is starting to make DTV pricey even in reference to most cable companies. Although I’d expect DTV to try another subscriber rate hike next year, it’s likely that the amount of that increase will likely have very little to do with Viacom.

  • Jon23812

    I predict the new SpongeBobs to have between 4.7 to 5.5 million viewers.

  • Scott 44

    @NEK38583, you must have missed them, or maybe just not yours yet, but many cable cos have fought providers like this, and it has been happening more and more the past year or so. The costs have been rising beyond what people are willing to pay, so they are concerned with people cutting the cord.

  • USAmerica1st

    Everybody wins. DTV will just possibly pass it on to the subscribers, amortized over a period of time and possibly get a tax write-off as icing on the cake.

  • JJ

    My Guess Is The Super Spongy Square Games Get From 3.9 – 4.7 million viewers each

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