Last night around midnight, DirecTV customers lost several channels including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1, BET and Spike. This was the result of a dispute between DirecTV and Viacom, which owns the popular cable brands. While there is a lot going back and forth between the two conglomerates, the customers are the ones getting the short end of the stick. They have lost some of their favorite channels and they had nothing to do with it!
Of course, it all comes down to money. DirecTV claims that Viacom wants customers to pay 30 percent more for the exact same channels. Viacom claims that they are asking for a small increase to extend DirecTV’s contract, which would cost subscribers less than two cents per day. So who’s telling the truth? Who knows. All we know is that both companies are playing the blame game and there are many very unhappy TV watchers across the nation.
As I write this, there are thousands of comments on DirecTV’s Facebook page about the shutdown. Customers want a credit on their bill for paying the same price without all of Viacom’s channels, while other customers are threatening to switch. Some parents are complaining that their kids are driving them crazy because they can’t watch Nick!
If I were a DirecTV customer, I wouldn’t want to pay a huge increase but I wouldn’t mind paying an extra 60 cents or so a month if I couldn’t find a better deal from another provider. My husband and I probably wouldn’t even watch TV if there were no Comedy Central. If I were Viacom or DirecTV, I would certainly find a resolution fast before Sponge Bob and Snooki fans completely lose it and start rioting in the streets. But who knows, maybe this is a good thing and people will find some less mind-numbing ways to pass time. Maybe play a summer sport or read a good book. At least maybe that’s what they can do until DirecTV and Viacom finish duking it out.
How do you feel about the dispute? What’s fair? What should the parties involved do about it?