Today in Connected Consumer

As I noted in this week’s Weekly Update, the carriage dispute between Viacom and DirecTV that has led to 17 Viacom-owned networks being dropped by the sat-caster is ricocheting throughout the pay-TV industry. Last week, Cox Communications offered an unusual show of support for DirecTV, putting out a statement calling the dispute “a reflection of an unbalanced multichannel video business model,” that needs to be addressed systemically. Now, Time Warner Cable has chimed in, saying “Consumers are tired of these disputes and so are we.” The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that other pay-TV operators are for the most part refraining from trying to take advantage of DirecTV’s weakness to poach subscribers, a break from past industry practice. Even one of Viacom’s biggest stars, Jon Stewart, ripped the company in his Daily Show monologue on Monday, which led to Viacom quietly restoring full episodes of the Daily Show and The Colbert Report to the web. The dispute is causing pain on both sides. While DirecTV has lost some subscribers, Viacom’s networks have suffered horrendous ratings losses since DirecTV’s 20 million subscribers got blacked out. Peace talks continue but the sides apparently remain far apart.