It seems that Viacom and DirecTV's road to reach a new deal is getting rockier. More than a week since the broadcast satellite service provider yanked off Viacom-owned channels, the two companies haven't reached a new deal and even are involved in war of words online.
Giving an update on their negotiations, Viacom wrote on its blog Wednesday, July 18 that their talks showed no progress, although it has made several compromise proposals in the past few days. "It's now clear that they have no intention of working with us to expedite a resolution," it said, blaming DirecTV which "has moved backwards significantly and created more obstacles to reaching an agreement."
Telling the story from another point of view, DirecTV claimed that Viacom's statement was "false." The satellite broadcaster posted on its own website, "You may have heard that Viacom is trying to upset customers with some very loud rhetoric about negotiations breaking down... Please know that we are indeed continuing to negotiate with Viacom so they can return the channels to our customers as soon as possible."
Admitting that it has received a proposal from Viacom on Tuesday night, DirecTV said it's ready to sign a new deal, but the issue which is holding things up is that "Viacom insists that we carry the EPIX channel at an additional cost of more than half a billion dollars." DirecTV argued, "We know our customers don't want to pay such an extreme price for an extra channel, they simply want the ones they had returned to them."
Responding to DirecTV's statement, Viacom said it "is one more complete work of fiction from the company." Claiming that it has offered various compromise proposals, including the ones without EPIX, it stated that DirecTV "did not accept all material terms for our channels, nor are we asking for a sum of $500 million for EPIX."
"Nothing in the press release reflects the reality of the negotiations, which, sadly, are at an impasse," Viacom concluded.
Due to the dispute, DirecTV subscribers can't watch programs from 17 Viacom-owned cable channels, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, VH1 and CMT, since Tuesday, July 10 night.