Chicago DirecTV subscribers no longer in want of their MTV

Businesses of all size rely on contracts of all types with other companies and individuals to make a go of it. Because of the abundance of contracts needed to run a business, it is inevitable that at some point disputes regarding the agreement will arise. Recently, subscribers to one satellite television provider felt the fallout related to two businesses' inability to negotiate the price the satellite company would pay to be able to provide customers with certain television channels.

The failure of DirecTV and Viacom to reach an agreement in a timely manner left customers in Chicago and elsewhere in the country dealing with a blackout of popular television channels, including but not limited to: Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. The blackout lasted a total of nine days before the companies could agree on a contract.

A sticking point in the negotiations appears to be the availability of video provided by Viacom online, for free. As a part of the agreed upon contract, DirecTV subscribers will still be able to view content provided by Viacom online, but they will first have to sign in to a system often referred to as "TV Everywhere." The new agreement is reportedly for the period of seven years. While the exact cost of the deal is unknown, DirecTV will apparently direct a minimum of 6 percent of its cost for programming to Viacom.

It is expected that this is not the last we will see of deals of this nature in this industry. Going forward, similar looking contracts will likely continue in the realm of channel owners and distributors.

Source: The New York Times, "DirecTV and Viacom Settle Dispute Over Fees, Restoring Service," Brian Stelter, July 20, 2012

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