As a result of the absence of a deal between DirecTV and Viacom, DirecTV subscribers will no longer have access to Comedy Central among its sibling major networks, Nickelodeon, MTV and VH1. Both sides blamed each other but it’s doubtful anyone outside the two companies cares who is at fault. Subscribers just want to watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Tosh.0 in peace.
In case you care about the nitty gritty dispute here’s a recap: DirecTV’s executive vice president of content, Derek Chang said Viacom wants DirecTV subscribers to pay over a 30 percent increase. This “equates to an extra $1 billion” for Viacom’s channels. Viacom, on the other hand, says the deal they proposed amounts to only an extra couple of pennies a day per subscriber. Uh, can we get a referee here? Or a mathematician?
In any case, the decision looks hasty and petty and we hope the two companies can kiss and make up for the sake of their viewers. Both companies are at risk here. DirecTV will lose subscribers to companies that broadcast Viacom networks, if they are not able to reach a new deal sometime in the near future, and Viacom could suffer lowered ratings from a loss of DirecTV viewers.
Meanwhile, in related bad cable news, Dish subscribers have lost a handful of great comedy shows on IFC– including Portlandia, Comedy Bang Bang and Bunk.