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DirecTV Subscribers Still Suffering Through Viacom Blackout

The battle between DirecTV and Viacom continues.  This is not good news for our TV lift customers who have DirecTV.  Viacom claims DirecTV won’t work with them to renew contract terms.  They claim that the renewal plans put forth our fair.  It is evident they wish to increase DirecTV’s fee structure.  Viacom states the fee increase is consistent to what their other distributors have to pay for Viacom Channels.  According to Nomura Analyst Michael Nathanson, he estimates that most distributors pay a fee of $3 per subscriber per month whereas DirecTV only paid $2.25 per subscriber per month up until last week.  Viacom wishes to increase their fee to what they claim is only “a couple of pennies per day per subscriber”.

However DirecTV states, when added up, this is a 30% fee increase.  They also state that Viacom’s renewal plans force them to add channels they don’t want. “Viacom insists that we carry the EPIX channel at an additional cost of more than half a billion dollars,” the company wrote. “We know our customers don’t want to pay such an extreme price for an extra channel, they simply want the ones they had returned to them”.

Viacom rebuts this statement by saying that they had two renewal plans on the table one with EPIX channel included and one without.  It is unclear though what the fee structural was for both renewal plans.  The bottom line is it does not look like these two companies are going to agree on terms anytime in the near future.

Who suffers from this blackout?  Everyone involved, but who gets the short end of the stick?  That would be DirecTV subscribers.

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