DirecTV and Viacom finally reached a deal today to end the nine-day blackout. It may be just in the nick of time, because many angry consumers (including myself) were on the verge of jumping over to the competition.
In a dispute over a proposed rate hike, DirecTV decided to temporarily end their agreement, leaving millions of customer’s in the dark. As I sat comfortably on my couch ready to watch some of my favorite guilty pleasures, I realized just how many of my pre-recorded channels were owned by Viacom. There were 26 channels in all, including; Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and BET. It’s a good thing this did not happen during the peak of “Jersey Shore” or a riot may have ensued.
It essentially meant, NO ‘Chicago Mob Wives’, NO ‘Love and Hip Hop’, NO ‘Single Ladies’, or other completely mindless shows to escape from the “real world”. How frustrating was the loss? Very! Although they obviously are not Emmy Award worthy, it is my right as a paying customer to enjoy what was promised to me.
As far as I’m concerned, they should have worked out their differences behind the scenes. DirecTV making the decision to end our television viewing without concern for its viewer’s, was a bad choice. Some may say they were “Just looking out for our best interest”, but I disagree. One reporter pointed out it may have cost us about 3 cents more a month, which was clearly not enough for a blackout. They could have just paid that small fee on our behalf until they ironed it out. Now they have left us feeling vulnerable and powerless. It seems like we are already over charged anyway.
DirecTV nor Viacom would not disclose the terms of their new seven-year contract. However, an analyst with Nomura Equity Research, reported DirecTV was previously paying $2.25 a month per subscriber to carry Viacom’s channels and that fee is now likely to be in the $2.80 range. Was that worth them losing customer loyalty?
In the end, we finally have our favorite channels back, but its at the expense of a loss of trust in our provider. For the millions of customer’s with a 2-year agreement, it seems your contract was breached. Is a lawsuit brewing? That surely will cost them more than the minimal increase.
DirecTVpromise.com should be re-evaluated. I want a refund….What do you think?