Contact Us

Viacom and DirecTV Finally Reach Deal, Blackout Ends As Millions Get Their Channels Back — Dollars and Sense

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Viacom and DirecTV have made up. The cable programmer and the satellite broadcaster reached a deal on Friday after a nine-day standstill over a fee hike which led to blackouts.

While the media giants were duking it out, 20 million subscribers suffered, as popular channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and VH1 were yanked from the lineup, disrupting their viewing habits.

Viacom was seeking fees for its programming, which DirecTV viewed as too steep of an increase. DirecTV also claimed that Viacom was trying to force it to carry Epix, a pay movie channel.

During the blackout, Viacom saw ratings for many of its networks plummet, some by a 20 percent margin. The Disney Channel and other rival networks pounced, grabbing Nickelodeon viewers by the fistful.

Derek Chang, the executive vice president of DirecTV, expressed relief that the issue is now resolved. In a statement, he said, “We are very pleased to be able to restore the channels to our customers and thank them for their unprecedented patience and support. 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.”

He addressed how the blackout effected customers, saying, “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.”

Viacom also acknowledged the “unnecessary drama,” saying: “We are very pleased with our agreement and are very thankful to have reconnected with our DirecTV viewers.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

[Los Angeles Times]

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for TSM Interactive quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!