Dark On Directv -- Viewers Cry, "I Want My Mtv"
At midnight Eastern Time, some 20 million DirecTV subscribers lost Viacom-owned channels including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, Logo, TV Land and a dozen other channels. In a statement, DirecTV exec Derek Chang said, "We have been very willing to get a deal done, but Viacom is pushing DIRECTV customers to pay more than a 30 percent increase, which equates to an extra $1 billion, despite the fact that the ratings for many of their main networks have plummeted and much of Viacom's programming can be seen for free online." Earlier today, Viacom issued a statement claiming that DirecTV had made it a "proposal that included a lower rate than Viacom receives from any other distributor in the industry. With this offer, our negotiations have reached an impasse." Following the blackout of its channels, Viacom issued a new statement saying, "We proposed a fair deal that amounted to an increase of only a couple pennies per day, per subscriber, and we remained willing to negotiate that deal right up to this evening's deadline. However, DirecTV refused to engage in meaningful conversation. We are hopeful that DirecTV will work with us toward a resolution, and stop denying its subscribers access to the networks they watch most."