DirecTV and Viacom Settle Dispute, This Could Mean Higher Bills for Customers

DirecTV and Viacom said they have settled a 10-day long dispute over 17 channels, such as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon among others, that were dropped from the satellite company line up -- over a dispute regarding broadcasting fees.

Though neither company revealed the terms of the deal, DirecTV released a statement describing Viacom’s “ill-advised” blackout as the bullying of TV providers and their customers by media companies -- in order to further increase their profits. Earlier in the conflict, the American Cable Association supported competitor DirecTV, perhaps fearing similar actions from media companies trying to charge more for the rights of broadcasting the content they produce.  

This will likely translate in higher bills for DirecTV customers, if they want to continue enjoying their favorite Viacom-produced TV shows. Earlier in the dispute, fans of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report grew frustrated as -- after DirecTV’s blackout -- they relied on the internet to stream their favorite Jon Stewart moments. However, in order to further press DirecTV, Viacom also took its shows off its websites.

The media company then aired a clever parody of DirecTV’s “Get Rid of Cable” advertising campaign, with Spongebob Squarepants, Betty White, Jersey Shore’s Pauly D and other beloved characters and personalities, trying to gain empathy from viewers during the conflict (even though, Viacom’s demands could translate into higher bills for customers. 

And now that the dispute is resolved, Viacom said it was “extremely pleased” to bring its shows back to DirecTV. The company also thanked DirecTV’s 33 million customers in the United States and Latin America for their “patience and understanding.” They should have added, “and for more of your money.”