DirecTV and Viacom have settled a dispute over fees after some intense negotiations. The two companies announced on Friday, July 20 that they have reached a new agreement, which mentions that DirecTV Group Inc. will pay about 20% more to carry Viacom-owned channels. The satellite broadcaster also stays on its decision not to carry the EPIX channel, which would cost about additional $500 million.
The dispute settlement ends the ten-day blackout that started on July 10 night. "We are very pleased to be able to restore the channels to our customers and thank them for their unprecedented patience and support," said Derek Chang, executive vice president of Content Strategy and Development for DirecTV.
Still showing a bit disappointment over the long negotiations that forced them to yank off more than 20 channels owned by Viacom, Chang added, "It's unfortunate that Viacom took the channels away from customers to try to gain leverage, but in the end, it's clear our customers recognized that tactic for what it was." He claimed, "They realized we were not going to capitulate."
Viacom, meanwhile, "is extremely pleased to bring its programming back to DIRECTV subscribers, and thanks everyone affected by the disruption for their patience and understanding during this challenging period."
Under the new deal, DirecTV subscribers can now enjoy Viacom-owned shows like "Jersey Shore" via the Everywhere Platform. "My expectation is that they will not increase the amount of free programming they have online," DirecTV's exec. Chang expressed his wish.