Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 1
Echostar yanked off the air all Viacom stations after the two companies couldn't agree on payment hikes, and neither company looks ready to back down.

It's kind of funny. Viacom has a promo running on the comedy channel, touting all the shows you won't see on Dish. Each one comes up on screen (Reno 911, The Daily Show, The Man Show, Chappelle, etc.) , then they "scribble" out the main character, using the line "make room on your couch for your friends with Dish" and finish the spot with "Comedy Central, now exclusively on cable and DirecTV."

Of course the only people who can see the promo are those on cable and DirecTV anyway. So while it's a "shot", it only speaks to people who are not affected. It's pretty useless for getting the people who care riled up, and the ones who can see the spot are going "Huh?"

Meanwhile, on Dish, the channel for Comedy Channel has a slide up (with bright music playing behind it) saying something to the effect "We are unable to bring you Comedy Channel due to a contract dispute with Viacom. Please tune to channel 101 for details." On Channel 101, Charlie Ergen (CEO) is talking about how they know you want your channels uninterrupted, but that Viacom is demanding "unreasonable price increases" (slide goes up in 100 point type "UNREASONABLE PRICE INCREASES"), he says "as much as 40%, far higher than inflation" and then says Viacom is also trying to force them to pay for channels which don't really add value.

The spiel runs about 2 minutes, and repeats, repeats, repeats, repeats.

So now it's a test of who costs who more: CBS loses about 9 million homes for all of its channels (that's about 8% of the country, I think) which means their ratings will go down temporarily. And they will lose whatever payment Dish makes for the current use of all of its channels. Dish, on the other hand, risks losing subscribers to DirecTV or cable if the dispute goes on for a long time.

It'll be an interesting slugfest. Personally, I'd like to see more of this. I'd love to see the Cox - Disney fight (over the escalating ESPN fees) break out the same way, and let them move ESPN to a separate tier, allowing people to pay for it - or not - depending on whether they actually watch it or not.

Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.