DirectTV, in dispute with Viacom, drops 17 stations from lineup

Channels such as Nick at Night, Comedy Central, Spike TV, and MTV went dark just before midnight as DirectTV stopped broadcasting 17 channels owned by Viacom. At issue; Viacom's insistence for what DirectTV calls a "30% increase" in fees which Viacom says is only "pennies per day" for each customer. Washington Post: "We have been very willing to get a deal done, but Viacom is pushing DirecTV customers to pay more than a 30 percent increase," Derek Chang, DirecTV's executive vice president of content, strategy and development, said in the statement sent late yesterday New York time. "Viacom sent us a letter last night that outlined our obligations to remove the channels by midnight or face legal action." The standoff marks the latest fee tussle between a pay-TV provider and program supplier. Such fights have blacked out millions of subscribers in recent years, including 14 million Dish Network Corp. customers who lost access to AMC Networks Inc. last month. Viacom said on its...(Read Full Post)