It's been almost 2 weeks since Viacom pulled all of its content off of DirecTV, but there is good news for DirecTV customers: the negotiations are over and you can now watch your Nickelodeon again. What happened to get Viacom back on the provider? An agreement worth $600 million per year for seven years to Viacom, a gain of over 20 percent above their previous agreement.
This is less than Viacom had hoped. The original request was for a 30 percent increase, which DirecTV refused to pay, prompting the provider to end their partnership and removing their network suite from the provider. To add insult to injury, Viacom decided to punish everyone for DirecTV's very reasonable decision not to accept a 30 percent increase in licensing fees, by blocking access to its own streaming services. Even Jon Stewart, who works for Viacom, thought the move was insane, mocking it on his show.
So, what did DirecTV have to say about the agreement? Hit the break for a quote.
Derek Chang, executive vice president of content strategy and development for DirecTV, said,
The attention surrounding this unnecessary and ill-advised blackout by Viacom has accomplished one key thing: it serves notice to all media companies that bullying TV providers and their customers with blackouts won't get them a better deal.
It's high time programmers ended these anti-consumer blackouts once and for all and prove our industry is about enabling people to connect to their favorite programs rather than denying them access.
This is a relief to those of us who watch almost all of their television online. Of course, we know Viacom doesn't understand the Internet. It is still weird for us to have been punished because DirecTV wanted to protect their customers from a ridiculous price hike. At least we have seven years before we have to worry about this again.