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DirecTV/Viacom Dispute?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by danpeters, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Satelliteracer

    Satelliteracer Hall Of Fame

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    The reality is that Viacom and others offer "free" content on the Internet because they are hitting tv distributors for huge fees. If tv distributors no longer pay those fees, the days of free Internet content will end. This is the issue AMC is facing with DISH as well.

    On one hand these media companies want huge increases from telco, satellite, cable and at the same time giving their programming away for free or pennies on the dollar to Hulu, Netflix, etc. you can imagine that the companies paying billions for that content are asking why if the company they are buying it from gives it away for free. Imagine you filling up your tank for $80 and the next three customers into the gas station get it for free. Maybe a bad analogy, but you understand.

    The media companies need the money to create shows, produce sports, buy sports fees, pay employees, etc. At the same time, demanding one side of the model pay billions to fund all that stuff and then give it away for free at the same time is ultimately a killing proposition for them long term. They trade dollars for pennies.
     
  2. susanandmark

    susanandmark Godfather

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    There are three sides here: Viacom's, DirecTV's and the consumer's. I am firmly in the last camp, and think the other two are both being belligerent, shortsighted and intractable.

    If I want to buy someone's house and they're asking, say, $250k and I make them an offer for $10,000, I should not get indigent, set up camp on their lawn and spend $20,000 to put up a billboard stating all the reasons why they're wrong and I'm right ("it's a crappy house," "no one else wants to buy it," "they should be happy I even made them an offer at all, the ingrates," etc.) when they refuse it.

    Compromise is NOT a dirty word, contrary to the latest TV news talking head spin. It's the only way that the economy, and society as a whole, actually, works. If I get everything I want and you're unhappy, that's not sustainable. Ditto if you get everything you want, and I'm unhappy. The definition of a "good" negotiation in financial or court-of-law terms is when both parties leave the table feeling a bit put upon.

    And, by the way, I have zero, zilch, nada invested in you, or anyone else, agreeing with me. In large part, this forum, which when I joined I felt was mostly about helping customers with DirecTV technical issues (and it can still be quite good at that), has morphed into a FoxNews/Huffington Post-like echo chamber of people reenforcing their own belief that they are better, smarter and more in-the-know based on picking DirecTV as their television provider, and therefore are heavily emotionally invested (for some unknown reason) in defending it.

    "Start living up to your end of the contract?" Isn't that just a tad bit hyperbolic? I mean, I live up to my end of the contract by sending them a check every month that pays for my service. I missed the part in even DirecTV's Draconican terms where I also swore undying fidelity and promised to never question, complain, utter a harsh word and genuflect daily to their logo.

    And, say what, only producers and distributors of entertainment programming are allowed to have an opinion? Really?!

    The only thing I've said about DirecTV's "contract" is that it stinks. It gives ALL the power to DirecTV and none to the consumer. I owe them everything, and they can give me nothing in return. Sounds like a great deal ... For DirecTV.

    I'm just consistently amazed/amused/saddened by the amount of people willing to vote or argue against their own best interests (in all areas, either literally or figuratively) based on misleading and skewed "facts" and what I strongly feel is a largely misplaced sense of brand/party/provider loyalty.

    Well, it's been fun pushing my "male-bashing" (huh?) "anti-conservative agenda," but I need to stop procrastinating ... It's almost time for my shift in the DirecTV salt mines. Just gotta "live up to my end of the contract." (What? You didn't see that clause?)
     
  3. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    I don't think a la carte means the same in that article as we think of it, or the guy writing it got it a bit wrong.

    I get the impression that Viacom and DirecTV are having issues about what goes on what tier and what it is paid for. I don't think DirecTV is talking pure a la carte (unless they are talking about the possible addition of Epix as a premium) but more about where Palladia and some of the kids channels go.

    While DirecTV is not a la carte for much, it does have various package levels and add on groups. I think that is where they are talking about.
     
  4. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Okay, so maybe you missed the part where DirecTV offered an increase. Sounds like an attempt at compromise to me. And DirecTV has been publically saying they will get it settled and find a middle ground. Viacom has not.

    No one is saying DirecTV are angels. What we are saying is that DirecTV is more right here than Viacom, who are proving themselves with nasty tactics and tantrums.
     
  5. Satelliteracer

    Satelliteracer Hall Of Fame

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    Number one, I am not championing anything, I said it was an interesting article. Nothing more and nothing less. Secondly, you would be surprised how many people do not know that...many people think the cost would actually go down if they only paid for a few channels. It's shocking how many people believe this.

    Third, go back and read my posts to say why it won't work or if you go down that path of unbundling you will lose choices. This is reality. Viacom offers 17 channels on the backs of 4 or 5 successful ones. This is no different than any other major media company...I should know, I have worked for a few in my lifetime before going to D*. I'm not championing anything, just putting the factual realties out there for those interested. I've worked for both sides, the article I found interesting. Nothing more, nothing less.
     
  6. tulanejosh

    tulanejosh Godfather

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    You are correct. Which is why I'm not taking them to court, and doubt anyone else will either.

    That said - there's a very real concern here regarding bait and switch. I'm not saying it wins in court. But the ingredients are there. In the marketing, they make claims about their service - definitive claims. Buy this, get this. Those claims incent you to enter into a contract, but they don't really prominently disclose that it could change. And very often its just not enough to say "well it's in the contract", truthful claims need to be made at the point of sale. That is - im not saying they need to say these channels will be always available, but make honest claims about potential disruptions.

    I have a JD. From the school in my screename. I however do not practice anymore. It's a dreadful life.
     
  7. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Aren't you doing that in not criticizing Viacom for a 30% increase attempt? You poo-poo it by saying it is only $10 a year (I think your math is off), which is Viacom's hook, line and sinker yet neglect to understand that if Viacom gets 30% then so does everyone else. Maybe more. And YOUR bill goes through the roof.

    Neither company is perfect, but you had better side with the one who is trying to keep costs down or you will pay even more in the long run.

    But that would not fit your agenda, which is well established here.
     
  8. SHS

    SHS Legend

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    For lot people that will never work becuase we can't get High Speed Internet
    Woste of all most Cable ISP now days are starting adding Data Caps
    And you may as well forget Satellite Internet
     
  9. APB101

    APB101 Icon

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    I caught it yesterday (Thanks!), and this part interests me most:

    I hope this means more HD: MTV2 HD, Nick Jr. HD, and TV Land HD. Add to that the MTV, CMT, VH1, and BET suites. It could also mean EPiX.

    Another consideration: Status quo with specific channels but DirecTV pays extra for not going for the full suite. ("All or nothing.")
     
  10. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Hahaha! That is way too funny.

    DirecTV is advertising Viacom channels now? That is the only way bait and switch happens. Advertise something they don't have.

    You really like to throw things around without basis, don't you?
     
  11. tulanejosh

    tulanejosh Godfather

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    wasn't saying you... was asking about Directv as a whole. I keep seeing media reports talking about the un-bundling option.

    I believe you. Ive seen evidence of that belief here. I over-generalized a bit.

    Was an interesting article.
     
  12. BlackCoffee

    BlackCoffee AllStar

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    It is not hyperbolic to say that even though you send your check in, all services experience disruption. Sending your check does not guarentee 100%service all the time.

    Comprimise can be a dirty word if it continually walks up costs and threatens DTV's future. That is for them to say. Even you point to lower cost alternatives that DTV is fighting.

    I am in the consumer camp too, and I am not a sheep blindling following cable news talking heads or corporate bigshots. You like to talk about playing nice, but routinely sprinkle subtle insults throughout your posts.

    This disagreement is not a conservative plot, a "comparison of who's is bigger," or any other subtle implication that characterizes an attempt to provide choice or control cost as some male ego exercise.
     
  13. gully_foyle

    gully_foyle Hall Of Fame

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    Certainly. It's just not the way to bet.
     
  14. tulanejosh

    tulanejosh Godfather

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    My "throwing" of things around is based on actual legal definitions whereas yours are just based on what you think it should be or what you feel personally is right. You only seem to understand one portion of bait/switch. If there marketing materials show or list a certain channel(s), and that material - either the availability of an individual channel or the lineup in its entirety - entices you to do something - whether that's investigate service or actually sign up, it's false advertising unless you disclose prominently that said channel(s) are extremely subject to change. It's not enough to say - well the contract allows that. You might not like that, but it is what it is.

    Again - not saying that wins in court of that you should take it to court or that its malicious in any way. Pretty sure Directv would like to put these channels back on all things being equal. More than anything - this is more of a request for better disclosure at the point of sale.
     
  15. tulanejosh

    tulanejosh Godfather

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    Agreed. Full context was - stop pointing to the contract as though it resolves something because there are many cases in which that's not true, even if this isn't one of them.
     
  16. tulanejosh

    tulanejosh Godfather

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    I dont think electric water and gas are a fair comparison. Yes they can experience disruption - but the water company disruption is because a pipe broke, not because they decided that the owner of the lake was asking for too much money. The electricity goes out because a tree fell on a line, not because the power company is having a disagreement with the coal mine over the cost of fuel.
     
  17. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

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    The point you are missing is that if DirecTV agrees to pay Viacom 30% more (because after all, it is only 3 cents per subscriber per day), then when Disney, Hearst, Scripts, Discovery, Turner, Rainbow, Comcast, NBC Universal, et. al. all come up for renewal, they are also going to want at least a 30% increase, because that is what DirecTV gave to Viacom.

    If it was only Viacom, you are correct, it is only $10.96 per year per subscriber, but when all of the other providers contracts end, it will end up being 30% of the total bill. Only if DiercTV can keep each individual contract to a 3% to 5% increase, would it be reasonable to expect that your bill will only go up by 3% to 5%.
     
  18. zimm7778

    zimm7778 Hall Of Fame

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    Oh no, in the short term it'd skyrocket but in the long term it would be affordable. I don't know if you saw my example and I may off on numbers so forgive me. Take ESPN. A la carte they work out a deal with you for 5 years that winds up with their channel being $10 a month for that alone. Well, a lot of people, even larger numbers than those probably think, will not order because they are going to feel that's entirely too much for 1 channel. ESPN is going to lose revenue from you and advertisers because less viewers less $$. Now they can either try to ride it out, and think raising the price the next agreement will solve it even though raising it will only drive more people away, or they can be smart renegotiate for a smaller price so more subscribe. As I also said this might end the billions being paid to sports leagues too which in turn could mean local teams in many markets will wind up back on local TV because the bids will be lower. That's just one example. I'm not stupid (not that I am saying you think I am) I know that these program providers while they may tell everyone you can't live without me know deep down many can. That's why they don't want their channels moved to higher packages. The higher the package, the fewer customers they get paid for and the veil is off to everyone just how "valuable" they really are which will make future negotiations with others much more painful for them. Yes, I know people would leave and go somewhere else which is why everyone would need to start this model at around the same time. It might take a year or few for all the agreements to be dealt with when current ones ran out but if everyone decided to do this or politicians get involved and force it then ENFORCE IT. I think things would in a few years be way, way different.

    Seriously, I like you and I appreciate your info and love Directv. But if the bill keeps getting higher like it has been I'm not gonna be able to justify keeping it. That's not your fault but something other than "we are trying to hold down costs" has to be done or no one is going to be able to afford it. Again, it's not you and I mean no offense.
     
  19. susanandmark

    susanandmark Godfather

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    The point YOU'RE missing is that DirecTV will raise our rates as high as their extensive market research says consumers will bear (with an acceptable level of complaining and "churn") at the moment they announce it. They will do that regardless of the outcome of this, or any other, negotiation.

    That's how businesses work. Do you think Apple just magically landed on the $499 iPad price point? No. They did bucket loads of research into how much consumers would pay for such a device and how much it would cost them to build it and, when the numbers worked for maximum profit, they built it. If their market research told them customers would pay only $499 but it would cost them $450 to build each one, I guarantee you the project would have been scrapped, or at the least delayed until the numbers were better. (Some argue this is exactly what occurred.) They would not have put out a $699 iPad just because.

    If, after release, their cost for a certain component then drops from 10 cents per piece, to 5 cents, that just means their profit increases. Yay for them. If a certain component has a shortage, etc. and suddenly rises in cost from 10 cents to 15 cents, they don't raise the price of the iPad to cover it--because they know they are already charging the maximum amount the market will bear. Their profit margins just shrink. That, by the way, is why Apple, one of the most successful companies on the planet, is notorious for locking up entire supply chains of key components, literally buying (or pre-ordering) every single one on earth ... To prevent even the CHANCE of shrinking profit margins. (And they have, bar none, the highest profit margins per unit in tech AND an incredibly high customer satisfaction rate.)

    This negotiation is 98% about DirecTV's profit margins and 2% about the amount of those eventual, and inevitable, cost increases to customers.
     
  20. BlackCoffee

    BlackCoffee AllStar

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    I think you misunderstood my point on electric water and gas. I was saying that, for a non-essential service like entertainment, should we hold them to a higher standard of no service interruptions. Clearly they indicate there will be interruptions, people understand there are interruptions with essential services, so why is it not reasonable to assume that a contract dispute will lead to problems.

    How about the old days when broadcast networks, fighting to survive, would not provide, put up restrictions, or just plain stonewalled DTV providing their programs. I remember writing Congress on those disruptions. Didn't blame DTV, I went to the source of the problem.
     

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