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Friday, July 20, 2012

DIRECTV And Viacom Reach Agreement To Renew Carriage Of Viacom's Networks In North America

Below is a Viacom Inc. Press Release via PRNewswire:
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

Download image [of Viacom logo]
NEW YORK, July 20, 2012 /Viacom Press Release via PRNewswire/ -- Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB) today announced that the company has reached a long-term agreement to renew carriage with DIRECTV.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110811/NY51392LOGO )

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.
SOURCE Viacom Inc.

RELATED LINKS
http://www.viacom.com.
Also, from C21Media:
Viacom nets return to DirecTV

Viacom and US pay-TV operator DirecTV have ended their carriage dispute with a deal that restores Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central to the latter’s airwaves.

Seventeen Viacom nets (26 including HD feeds) had gone dark on DirecTV for nine days after the companies clashed over the remuneration Viacom would receive and it looked like the row would rumble on for some time.

However, the pair has now come to a long-term agreement that restores the channels immediately. The new deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, gives DirecTV the option to add Viacom’s Epix movie channel service to its entertainment package.

DirecTV’s 19.9 million customers will also be able to access Viacom content across tablets, computers, mobiles and other hand-held devices through the DirecTV Everywhere platform.

The deal had seemed a long way off as recently as yesterday but Viacom said it was “extremely pleased” to reach an agreement. Despite expressing its own satisfaction at the deal, DirecTV maintained Viacom was the cause of the dispute.

“We are very pleased to be able to restore the channels to our customers and thank them for their unprecedented patience and support,” said DirecTV’s Derek Chang, executive VP of content strategy and development. “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 recognised that tactic for what it was.”

Viacom claimed it was bargaining for just a “few pennies” extra per customer per day, but DirecTV alleged it had been pushing for a rise of more than 30%, equating to an extra US$1bn on the previous agreement.

Chang today claimed media coverage of the high-profile spat had “accomplished one key thing: it serves notice to all media companies that bullying TV providers and their customers with black-outs won’t get them a better deal.”

Spats between content providers such as Viacom and pay-TV platforms have become common in the US. Just this month, satellite platform Dish Network pulled cablenet AMC, which airs Breaking Bad and Mad Men, after failing to agree on terms.

Jesse Whittock
20-07-2012
©C21Media

GENRES: Children's, Factual, Formats
PEOPLE: Derek Chang
COMPANIES: AMC, Comedy Central, DirecTV, Dish Networks, MTV, Nickelodeon, Viacom
SECTIONS: C21 Kids, C21Drama, C21Factual, Formats Lab
COUNTRIES: US
Also, from The Hollywood Reporter:
Viacom, DirecTV Reach New Carriage Deal

UPDATED: The companies end a two-week blackout in DirecTV homes, with the satellite TV giant saying it won't have to carry premium TV venture network Epix under the seven-year pact.

Viacom and DirecTV have reached a new carriage agreement, they said early Friday.

The deal ends a two-week standoff that led to a blackout of such networks as MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Nickelodeon in the about 20 million homes of the satellite TV giant.

Financial and other terms weren't disclosed, but sources said the deal will run for seven years.

DirecTV will carry all 26 Viacom channels, or 17 when excluding HD feeds, but said it is not required to carry Epix, the premium TV joint venture of Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM.

"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," the satellite TV company said. "Carriage of the Epix movie channel is not required as part of the new agreement."

Viacom said it "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."

Said Derek Chang, executive vp of content strategy and development for DirecTV: "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 added: "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."
Also, from Digital Spy UK:
DirecTV and Viacom end contract dispute, sign new long-term agreement

© DirecTV
DirecTV and Viacom have ended their contract dispute after signing a new long-term agreement.

Viacom pulled 17 channels from DirecTV on July 10, after the two companies failed to reach a new contract.

However, those 17 channels, which included MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET and Spike, are once again available for DirecTV customers.

DirecTV's executive vice president of content strategy and development Derek Chang said in a statement: "We are very pleased to be able to restore the channels to our customers and thank them for their unprecedented patience and support.

"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 recognised that tactic for what it was."

In their press release, Viacom expressed: "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."

The agreement comes in time for new shows to make their upcoming season or series debuts, such as the Inbetweeners remake on August 20 on MTV.

The Inbetweeners is a revamping of the UK comedy series, which provoked a negative reaction from fans after the first trailer was recently released.

Watch the trailer for The Inbetweeners [here on the official Digital Spy UK website, DigitalSpy.co.uk]
Also, from the Daily Mail:
Snooki, SpongeBob, and the South Park gang are back! DirecTV to restore Viacom channels to 20M customers after nine-day blackout over contract dispute

* 20m DirecTV users will again have access to Viacom channels that were lost after contract dispute

* Cable networks like Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and MTV were not available for nine days

* Sources say DirecTV will pay Viacom $600m - 20% more - than last year's $500m agreement

Twenty million DirecTV subscribers will again have access to television favourites like SponeBob SquarePants and Snooki after the satellite TV provider reached a deal to restore Viacom’s networks.

The loss of 26 networks – including Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon – to 20million homes means the size, length and scope of this programming blackout was unprecedented to date in the U.S. pay-TV industry.

Contentious relationships between program distributors and program makers are on the rise as the industry's growth appears to have peaked.

[click here] for video

Restored: DirecTV and Viacom have reached a contract agreement after nine days' dispute, restoring all 20 channels, including MTV's Jersey Shore featuring Snooki, and SponbeBob SquarePants [...]
'The Viacom/DirecTV dispute may be remembered as a critical turning point in programmer, distributor negotiations,' Bernstein Research analyst Todd Juenger told Reuters. 'For the first time in memory, it was the distributor that won the public relations war.'

While distributors typically take the brunt of the complaints about network blackouts, DirecTV argued that the increasing number of disputes with other distributors had educated customers that they would face the same problems with their rivals.

'By showing their willingness to take a blackout, and arguably winning the battle for the hearts and minds of their customers as a result, DirecTV may extract better terms from other programmers down the road,' said Juenger.
Viacom said it restored all of its cable networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and BET, which became unavailable to DirecTV customers from July 10.

Restored: Viacom said it restored all of its cable networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and BET, which became unavailable to DirecTV customers from July 10
The channels went off air after DirecTV balked at what it saw as a steep increase which it said Viacom was demanding. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the new contract.

But people familiar with the talks said DirecTV will pay Viacom around $600million in the first year of the seven-year contract with subsequent mid-single digit percentage increases.

That would be a 20 per cent increase over the previous contract's $500million a year that was publicly stated by DirecTV Chief Executive Mike White.

DirecTV previously said Viacom sought a 30 per cent increase in carriage fees, equalling $1billion over five years - a boost that DirecTV said was not justified.

Viacom countered that its networks represented about 20 per cent of all viewing on DirecTV but accounted for less than 5 per cent of its programming costs.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said in the memo to staff that on Thursday afternoon the two companies had made a 'decisive push to hammer out a deal that we believe is fair and mutually beneficial.'

In particular, DirecTV had pushed back against having the Epix movie channel tacked on the agreement, at a price of around $500million.

'They took Epix off the table in the last 24 hours and we could move ahead with a deal,' said Derek Chang, DirecTV's top programming negotiator.
RESTORED! THE CHANNELS DIRECTV USERS WILL AGAIN HAVE

Nickelodeon (HD)
Comedy Central (HD)
MTV (HD)
BET (HD)
VH1 (HD)
CMT (HD)
Spike (HD)
Logo
TV Land
MTV2
VH1 Classic
Palladia
Nick Jr.
Nicktoons
TeenNick
Nickelodeon West
Tr3s
Centric
MTV India
'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,' said Chang.

On July 1, AMC Networks, the company behind shows such as Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Mad Men, was removed from the Dish Network after the two companies failed to reach a new contract.

Similar blackouts have taken place in recent years between Cablevision and Walt Disney Co's ABC; News Corp and Cablevision; and News Corp and Dish; and Time-Warner Cable Inc and Hearst Corp.

Time Warner Cable Inc, the second largest U.S. cable provider, said late Thursday it had reached a deal with Hearst Corp after 16 broadcast stations were blacked out in 14 markets for eight to 12 days.

DirecTV and Viacom had been in talks over a new contract but could not agree on terms before the July 10 deadline.

The nine days of the blackout resulted in Viacom's channels such as Nickelodeon losing ground to competitors like The Disney Channel. DirecTV also shed some customers in the period.

The new contract will let DirecTV customers view Viacom's programming on tablets, laptops, handhelds and other personal devices.

Viacom shares were up 9 cents at $46.74 on the Nasdaq on Friday. DirecTV shares were down 6 cents at $48.89, also on the NYSE.
TV BANNED: THE DAILY SHOW REACTS TO DISPUTE

Master of satire Jon Stewart of the Daily Show poked fun at the severe manner with which the blackout was being reported. ‘Viacom and DirecTV, what are you doing here? Telling people to rise up and demand it like it's some sort of basic cable Arab Spring? I got news for you – it's not! None of this is indispensable!’

But so some of the 20million viewers would still get the full Daily Show experience, he sent correspondent John Oliver to a couple’s home in Montclair, New Jersey, to tell them – verbatim – what they were missing.

No doubt viewers of the comedy news show will be relieved to get the real thing back.

Watch the video [here on the official Daily Mail website, DailyMail.co.uk]
Also, from Examiner.com:
Great news for DirecTV Nickelodeon viewers!

DIRECTV VS VIACOM

An agreement has finally been reached between Viacom and DirecTV, making Nickelodeon channels again available to DirecTV viewers! Many Nickelodeon fans that use DirecTV as their service provider were upset when their favorite Nick shows were taken off the air. Renee of Mansfield, Ohio, along with many other viewers, expressed outrage over losing their family’s favorite shows that they had watched on a regular basic. What a relief it was for them to turn on a Nickelodeon channel again on Sunday, after nearly two weeks of being off the air!

Nickelodeon Animation Studio is located in Burbank, California and has some of the top rated cartoons and family friendly shows in the world! Viacom, who owned the selected air time on DirecTV for all Nickelodeon channels, had originally wanted a 30% increase charge, which would affect many DirecTV viewers! Viacom had decided to remove all Nickelodeon channels from DirecTV on July 10th, in an effort to get DirecTV to increase their cost. A new long-term agreement was finally reached this past week between Viacom and DirecTV, although no details on the terms have been given to the general public. Viacom has restored 17 Channels, some of which include Nickelodeon, CMT, TV Land and many others. In addition, DirecTV customers can also now gain the ability to see Viacom programming on tablets, laptops and other personal devises. DirecTV viewers can visit directvpromise.com for more information.