Looking to hold the line on escalating program licensing costs, the satellite TV services face the prospect of having to carry more regional sports channels. The Pac-12 Network launches in about three weeks, but DirecTV and Dish are in no hurry to make a deal.
Analysts say DirecTV will end up paying Viacom about what it initially offered, around $2.80 per month per its 20 million subscribers. The satellite carrier wasn’t forced to take on Epix, and it also got a lot of TV Everywhere content rights.
After more than a week of public squabbling and dark channels, DirecTV and Viacom have a new licensing deal that restores all 26 of the channels — and leaves open the possibility that premium channel Epix will show up on the satellite operator.
According to a tweet from noted media technology analyst Richard Greenfield, DirecTV has “appears to have caved” in its standoff with Viacom. The conglomerate’s response? An actual deal is “news to us.”
They’ve been negotiating over some of the biggest cable networks on TV, but DirecTV says a near deal to end its weeklong impasse with Viacom has been undone by a lightly watched premium channel. The programmer calls that a fabrication, saying the two remain far apart.
Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger and Craig Moffett publish some of the best data yet on this rather epic carriage battle. It will take both sides a long time to come to an agreement, they predict, and the solution will come through Viacom curtailing its digital activities.
Addressing DirecTV’s 20 million subscribers in a heavily rotated, one-minute, 23-second propaganda spot, Mike White says, “At the very least, we think Viacom should be willing to give your family the choice to pay for only those channels you watch,”
Nickelodeon has been the top-rated cable channel for 66 straight quarters. But with Nicks’ ratings in decline, and its shows spread across Netflix and other OTT outlets, the channel’s negotiating position may be softening. In the lastest carriage renewal conflict, DirecTV will find out how much.
While we in tech land tried to read the tea leaves of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent cryptic comments on the future of Apple TV, the media world saw the uncertainty around his statements as, “causing a boatload of angst and anticipation,” according to Variety.
Sure, the satellite TV service faces rising programming costs, flattening subscriber growth and an obsolete one-way broadcast platform here in the U.S. But Sanford Bernstein senior analyst Craig Moffett told investors this week they’re not seeing the company’s huge growth potential in Latin America.