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DirecTV could drop 26 Viacom nets
Deal expired June 30, sides at impasse on fees
By: Jill Goldsmith
Posted On: Jul. 10, 2012
DirecTV is set to drop 26 Viacom channels, including Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1, CMT, Spike TV and TV Land, at midnight on Tuesday after the media conglom said the satcaster 'rejected all of our proposals to renew our agreement.'
The development is shocking, potentially hitting one of the most powerful network groups in the nation, but comes after a dramatic dip in Nickelodeon ratings and an increasingly hard line by video operators against fee increases.
Viacom said it accounts for 20% of DirecTV viewing and less than 5% of its fees.
'DirecTV provided Viacom with a counter 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,' Viacom said.
It said it has been negotiating for months and offered DirecTV an extension past the agreement's original June 30 expiration date. As recently as Monday, it said it had made significant economic movement in direct conversations with DirecTV. The expired deal is seven years old, 'ancient by the standards of the ever-evolving media industry, which means that DirecTV has enjoyed way below market rates for Viacom's networks for a very long time.'