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DirecTV/Viacom Dispute?

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

  1. Que

    Que Icon

    Apr 15, 2006
    Just get a deal done. No need to do it like this.
  2. gio12

    gio12 Icon

    Jul 31, 2006
    God, your do right and people don't want too see/accept this. Are these companies publicly traded? If so, we both about them being greedy, but that greed feeds your 401Ks, pensions, stocks, etc. I always get laugh when I hear about these "Greedy" companies, yet we the people feed and w at these companies to be greedy to feed us money through another channel.

    The real works does not get it at times. It's only TV folks, not real necessities like gas, electricity, etc.
  3. susanandmark

    susanandmark Godfather

    Feb 15, 2007
    Here's the thing, you may say I don't get it, or I'm in the minority here, or whatever you want. And that's all well and good; you're absolutely entitled to that perspective and, for all I know, the majority here could be correct and DirecTV has such a loyal fan base (instead of just a customer base), that not a single one will leave if they take Viacom off forever and instead will erect shrines to DirecTV's CEO.

    There are plenty of people here who think DirecTV's "got my back" incessancy and PR spin is the God's honest truth (usually the same folks who think Viacom are "scumbags" for doing, basically, the same thing on the opposite side) and that they are sincerely fighting the good fight to, "keep our bills low." Again, good on you. Absolutely entitled to that viewpoint.

    Here's MY deal ... DirecTV does NOT have my back. If they did, they wouldn't remove channels--or let them be removed, if you prefer. (Semantics.) I'm a high-dollar, high-end customer and what they're telling me, with channel pull after channel pull and these seemingly endless disputes, is that they don't give a hoot about what I, as a customer want, which is the availability of as many HD channels as possible without having to spam a provider's Facebook page or gloom onto a Twitter hashtag, sign a petition, or anything else that makes me think and worry way too much about what should be a very simple utility. I want to pay my bill, get the programming I expect for that payment, and be done. I don't need to be a cohort in pitched moral battle with ANY company ... I need a reliable television provider, not a relationship.

    Today's add of the Disney Jr. channel in SD only is just another example that DirecTV does seem to be aiming to the low end. Seriously, in 2012 the once-billed "HD leader" is adding NEW HD-available channels in SD?! Why even bother?

    Is it because as someone in another thread pointed out (I have no idea if accurately), "most" of DirecTV's receivers in their 20,000,000 customer's homes are SD only? Do they even MAKE SD-only receivers anymore? And, if so, why? They've swapped our far younger technology than that (MPEG-2 vs MPEG-4), why wouldn't it be a priority to remove outdated, I'm-sure-hard-to-program-for boxes ASAP and get all of their customers on the same, HD page?

    That they haven't shows it's a service geared VERY much at the low end. I'm far from wealthy, but I haven't had an SD TV in my home for years. Heck, full HD sets can now be had for >$200. And finding a TV that's NOT HD would be the real trick, so why would any truly forward-thinking provider be aiming at the past by boosting their SD channel count? (Up next: exclusive DirecTV logo buggy whips!) Is the pay TV market really that lucrative for folks that can't afford to replace 10-year-old televisions? My guess is if folks are that uninterested in television, or just frugal (not that there's anything at all wrong with either stance), they're not shelling out for satellite.

    I have lots of friends who could care less about HD (the classic "you mean what we're watching ISN'T HD, but I thought it was an HDTV?" set), but not a single one that doesn't have all HDTVs in their home, be it one TV or five. And this includes a heck of a lot of college students. (OK, they're guys, and I'm frankly always shocked at the number of 50" flat screens single guys with no jobs manage to own. Giant flat screen + leather couch = 20 year old male.) Honestly, the last tube TV I saw ANYWHERE was the one we had on our porch and turned on about once per year ... And even that was replaced with an older HDTV set in the last few months, just because we'd upgraded our bedroom set so this one was "left over."

    And, yeah, it's harder to believe this "keep your bills low" stuff when we started with DirecTV more than a decade ago and our total for the everything package, and receivers on all TV, was well under $75/month, while now they top $200. I can't really think of much else that's more than doubled in price for, essentially, the same level of service, even if you could argue that service has expanded and improved. (Didn't pay double for my laptop in 2012 than I did in 1998--less, actually, in real dollars--and that's for a MUCH improved product with technology that we didn't even dream of 14 years ago.) DirecTV has grown exponentially in that same time frame and growth (larger customer base) + time in technology usually leads to better deals with providers and, thus, lower end user prices, not higher.

    To answer the inevitable "then shut up and leave" question, which I've answered so many times before ... My only TV choices are DirecTV and DISH, or no TV at all (IPTV and OTA are not options due to locale). We enjoy relaxing by watching television, so that's not an option for my family, and, so far, the hassle of switching + the generally decent channel count and reliability of DirecTV has made their less-than-impressive (to me) customer service worth overlooking in favor of maintaining the status quo and staying.

    And, now, while I'm getting sorely tempted to just walk by this whole mess, contract or no, I am not naive enough to think DISH wouldn't do the same exact thing, and still could. Heck, that's one of the reasons I hadn't left in the past. I thought when it came to things like dropping channels and getting into pissing matches with providers, DirecTV WAS the more reasonable choice. Now, I'm not so sure.

    Honestly, my fear is they both suck and I'm just screwed.
  4. sammy720

    sammy720 Mentor

    Jun 16, 2010
    FWIW, I got $5 off for 3 months and free Starz and Showtime for 6 months (auto cancels too) due to the Viacom dispute. This is on top of around $40 worth of monthly credits I get right now for miscellaneous things to offset the ridiculously high rates if you are out of contract (which I am). All of that aside, my 2 cents on the dispute is that Viacom is just being greedy, like everyone else in the TV content business nowadays. I fully support DirecTV since they are trying to stop this seemingly industry wide greed. Could I live without these channels? In the short term (maybe a month or two), absolutely. In the long term, absolutely not. This family NEEDS their Legend of Korra on Nick (thankfully the first season just ended a few weeks ago) and to a lesser extent, their Colbert Report. If it ever came down to that we were not going to get new episodes of Korra we would switch to Dish, instantly. Thankfully I don't think that will happen because both sides simply need each other too much. Viacom will lose HUGE market share if this is permanent, and DirecTV just can't be a viable competitor if they don't carry Viacom channels, some of which are basic staples for many. My bet is give it one month, tops, before they are back on DirecTV.
  5. The Walrus

    The Walrus New Member

    Jul 10, 2012
    well, since the channels came down, me and my son have,
    gone to the water park, played catch, went to a museum, read books and layed on the floor to draw, and you know what?
    he doesn't even know they are gone.
    the only one I ever watched was comedy central for Tosh.o, so where can i possibly find a replacement for funny internet videos? maybe on the internet
  6. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Lot of typing to just say "directv bad." maybe if you said something good about these people you give so much money, you'd have more credibility.

    Although I am trying to figure out what channel pull after channel pull you are talking about.
  7. Mariah2014

    Mariah2014 Breaking the mold

    Apr 21, 2006
    Phoenix Metro
    The problem is sometime they have to put their foot down or our bills would be jumping by 10 to 20 dollars a year. They would be forced to repackage and even take away from the grandfathered packages because of it like cable does. Then you wonder why those companies rename or change and add packages every year well it is those increases they are blindly taking no matter what that cause it. People can only afford so much and then we prioritize what we really want and what we can live with out. A lot of houses still have SD sets and those often are connected to SD receivers. Secondly some of these stations that are in HD actually have no or little HD programing on them. They have no good reason to add every HD station just because it is in HD. Secondly, they have to have a contract to get the HD station and have room for it on a Satellite, while trying to keep the prices down. These stations that are down, I can live without. However, these stations in some cases used to be much better than they are today.
  8. BlackCoffee

    BlackCoffee AllStar

    May 23, 2009
    Dont' encourage another rant even though it looks like the last was unsolicited. If you want some entertainment, review her old posts. I personally enjoy one of the early ones when she says DTV told her to stop calling.
  9. am7crew

    am7crew Legend

    Jun 5, 2009
    yeah and those channel were down less then 48 hours before returning.
  10. slinger45

    slinger45 AllStar

    Aug 5, 2007
    DirecTV has the leverage in the negotiations, it means a lot more for Viacom to get the hike than having an outage on D*. It's smart business to put their foot down and get a better price because theyre in a much better position to wait it out.

    I have no problem with it whatsoever.
  11. ChicagoBlue

    ChicagoBlue Godfather

    Apr 29, 2011

    Just do the easy math.

    $1 billion apart on negotiated price. 5 year term (Viacom doesn't want a 7 year term per Sumner Redstone)

    $1 billion divided into about 18.5 million customers (remember that DTV has close to 20 million but that includes Commercial customers and foreign language customers). That comes out to about $54 per customer to cover that $1 billion.

    If everyone would just open up their checkbooks and write another $54 check to DTV for these Viacom channels, the gap is closed. Of course that doesn't get into what I'm certain they are also asking for (not only certain, I know based on what I've heard from various sources). They are demanding EPIX just as they demanded EPIX on Cablevision and other outlets. That cost has to be factored in on top of what they want for the 17 channels dropped. Then DTV has to get those up in the air in HD, that's a capacity cost and an infrastructure cost. So all in, let's call it $70 ($54 + $16 for Epix and infrastructure) from every customer, give or take. I suspect 20% couldn't do it even if they wanted to because of their financial shape. Another 40% would say go fly a kite. Another 25% would do it while complaining and the remaining 15% wouldn't even notice it as money isn't an issue.

    Doesn't sound like much, but we all know that as soon as that price increase comes next year even if it is only for $4, the howling will be immense like it always is. Like clockwork.

    Now factor in all those local broadcast station group increases this year. Disney contract which is probably up next year. I hear the CBS contract is up nationally. One of the premium is up and I'm not sure HBO ever got closed, will need to check that one. Keep adding up those costs. Then a Pac 12 network to launch, a Lakers RSN to launch, and on and on and on and on.
  12. tampa8

    tampa8 Godfather/Supporter

    Mar 30, 2002
    (Truncated quote)

    Nice for you that you are high end (I mean that, not sarcastically) and you want the carriers like Direct TV and Dish to just accept whatever the providers ask for. Following that sage advice however, you will not only be high end, but one of a few any end still subscribing.
  13. SteveHas

    SteveHas Hall of Fame

    Feb 6, 2007

    Right on! I agree completely!
    I thank D* for thinking of MY budget here, its not their budget that is ultimately at risk if the cave to Viacom, its yours and mine.
  14. susanandmark

    susanandmark Godfather

    Feb 15, 2007
    I have never, and will never, say that I wanted them to "just accept whatever the providers ask for" ... I said I wanted to not be a pawn in childish corporate spats, fueled by PR campaigns that result in loss of service for customers.

    That's the same message how (and I don't mean that sarcastically either)?

    I simply do not buy, for a single second, that our rates won't increase (based on history) at the exact same planned rate NO MATTER WHAT Viacom and DirecTV eventually agree on, or even if they never reach a deal at all. Companies base service fee increases more on market research--what customers in their market will bear--than expense projections. They've already projected what they think that increase can be, and how much profit they'd like to make. Now they're working the numbers to make that happen. Again, nothing inherently wrong with any of the above ... Just that our rates WILL go up, regardless of these negotiations, and I'd be shocked if it's even "pennies a day" difference at stake with the outcome of this deal. Yet, the channels are still gone. Customers are still the ones left in a lurch as part of the "negotiating" tactic on both sides.

    I also said that I wanted DirecTV to focus on retaining old channels and, if they add new channels they should be in HD, which has been the broadcast standard for at least the past decade and in widespread consumer adopted since at least 2006.

    As for "not much HD content," Disney produces all their cartoons, ASFAIK, in HD, and show them as such on the Disney channel. This may have been the case five years ago, but there are now very few HD channels that feature "very few" HD shows.

    It doesn't have anything to do with me being "high end," which I'm not (other than in amount I pay), it has to do with the idea of DirecTV being "low cost," which it is definitively not, yet some of the tactics/philosophies seem to be. I mentioned my total to show that their "keeping my bills low" promise has resulted in a more than 125% increase in the total I pay for the same level of service. (DVRs didn't exist when I joined, but I'm not counting purchased equipment costs in that total anyhow, just monthly service fees, and I've never paid a monthly DVR fee, since I originally had TiVos with lifetime service so my per receiver cost is the same as if I was still just using standard receivers. I'm getting "free HD" for autopay, so that's not part of that $200 total either, doing my best to make it an apples-to-apples comparison.)
  15. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

    Jul 21, 2008
    not really NFLST for homes is nothing next to what sports bars pay.
  16. Mariah2014

    Mariah2014 Breaking the mold

    Apr 21, 2006
    Phoenix Metro
    1. They need a contract to get the HD feed provided there is an HD feed.
    2. They need channel space on the satellites to carry the station in HD.
    3. Not every HD station actually has much HD content. Example Hallmark Movie Channel HD has very little HD content.
    4. Not everyone has an HD set or more importantly an HD receiver. As a result, they need to add some stations in SD to keep these people happy too.
    5. They won't just pay anything to get some of these HD feeds. Some of these HD feeds are not being offered cheaply and take awhile to work a deal out on.

  17. tulanejosh

    tulanejosh Godfather

    May 23, 2008
    I think it will be much sooner than that. Probably next week. D* "latest updates" on directvpromise.com makes a very big point of saying they are making progress, they expect this to be over soon. I'm inclined to believe that's just spin, but when I spoke to D* earlier today, they also fell all over themselves to assure me that they were close and this was just temporary. They said it at least 3 times. Admittedly - I'm an exceptionally high dollar customer for them (I order every UFC and major boxing fight, i have all 3 sports subs, premier, yada yada yada), so they could be telling me what they think i want to here, but I sensed sincerity in their voices for whatever it's worth.
  18. marquitos2

    marquitos2 Legend

    Jan 10, 2004
    I'm glad that D*took a hard core position towards Viacom. No more holding hostage the customers by channels company. D* understand how bad the economy is at this time. So lets wait for D* to negotiate in the customers best interest.
  19. Mariah2014

    Mariah2014 Breaking the mold

    Apr 21, 2006
    Phoenix Metro
    I have often found that many on the phone don't know what is going on. Secondly, I'm inclined to think that they have been told to put a spin on it to try and keep some people content during the period of time left that these stations will be off Directv.
  20. Pepe Sylvia

    Pepe Sylvia Legend

    May 10, 2010
    There is no doublt to me that both parties wanted the channels to go dark to help their negotiation. They could have gotten this done earlier if it was all about nickels and dimes. I think Viacom believes that people will complain and eventually cancel if people can't watch their channels. I think Directv is saying that people won't miss the channels as much as you (Viacom) think.

    They had to bring it public to gauge the response. Anyway, that's just my opinion based on the way both parties have acted.

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