Viacom Channel Takedown Information (Revisited)

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by James Long, Mar 5, 2004.

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  1. JohnH

    JohnH Hall Of Fame

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    You will find that MTV2, VH1 Classic, Noggin, GAS and MTV Espanol are back in your EPG, but they have the slate up.
     
  2. Tyralak

    Tyralak Icon

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    Holy $&#%@^!!!! 2 YEARS? If you can stand the horrible cable boxes most cable providers have, that's a hard deal to beat. I didn't mind the quality of my local cabe company (Charter) but it just got too pricy, and they wanted $10 for a DVR. Plus the DCT2000 boxes they used were painful to use. Horribly slow, no timer features to synchronize with my VCR, really crappy menus, etc.
     
  3. ypsiguy

    ypsiguy Icon

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    A deal must be close, I was hoping that GAS, Classic, Noggin and MTV2 would get the boot. Oh well.
     
  4. Tyralak

    Tyralak Icon

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    Jan 24, 2004
    You know, it just occured to me that the name of this thread should be: "Viacom Channel Shakedown Information" :lol:
     
  5. Unsatisfied

    Unsatisfied Guest

    I'm out, been a customer of both satellite services over the past seven years. DTV is offering me a 2 room system free with a 1 year commitment + $49.99 for a Tivo installed. Dish has never offered me anything. My original system was purchased from sears retail. No freebies etc.... At least with DTV they have a retention department that will work with you. They once gave me free HBO/Cinemax for 6 months to prevent me from downgrading.

    BTW I am a registered member of this forum, just have not retrieved my username and password from my old setup.
     
  6. alew

    alew New Member

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    Mar 10, 2004
    John H,
    i am new to Dishnetwork, and what timing! What does information you mentioned above mean?
    Thanks
     
  7. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Michiana
    They have over 135 channels in AT120 on a good day. Without Viacom there are eight less, but E* has bumped WAM! down from AT180 to AT60 and AT120, so today your AT120 is 128 channels, plus whatever your RSNs are (and the four alts). This does NOT count the barkers (101, 103, 139, 450, 500, 9900, and more).

    AT60 lost 6 Viacoms, gained four replacement channels, and subscribers still get ~72 channels and a dollar back.

    JL
     
  8. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    In the EPG means you can select the channel. Still a slate, but the rumor started that those pulled channels may not return at all.

    JL
     
  9. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

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    Mar 25, 2002
    This was posted at ABCNews.com when the battle first started:
    Viacom to Pull CBS Off EchoStar Air
    http://portfolios.abcnews.go.com/qu...ce=reuters&path=/Reuters/20040309/0105_10.xml
    Later in the day the story was "corrected" to:
    CORRECTED: EchoStar to Pull Viacom's CBS from Its Service
    http://portfolios.abcnews.go.com/qu...ce=reuters&path=/Reuters/20040309/0239_16.xml
    Obviously someone from Viacom applied some pressure.
     
  10. jasonjpw

    jasonjpw AllStar

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    Mar 5, 2004
    phone: 212 258 6000
    fax: 212 258 6219
    Viacom International, Inc.
    1515 Broadway
    New York, NY 10036-5794
    US
    --------------------------------
    phone: 212 846-3367
    fax: 212-654-9068
    MTVi Group
    1515 Broadway
    New York, NY 10036-5794
    US
    --------------------------------
    Phone: 212 258 6749
    FAX: 212 258 6219
    Viacom International, Inc.
    1515 Broadway
    New York, NY 10036
    --------------------------------
    PHONE: 212 767 8727
    FAX: 212 582 0285
    Viacom International, Inc.
    1775 Broadway
    New York, NY 10019
    US
    --------------------------------
    212 258-7500
     
  11. I will just post my message sent to Dish Network. (I ordered DirecTv yesterday after finding out the whole story)

    *******************************************

    Dear Sir,

    I was greatly disappointed in the development of the discontinuance of programming through Dish Network that involves viacom. However I feel that Dish Network is at fault. I have been a customer of Dish Network for several years and in that time you have consistantly hiked my rates and changed my programming without my permission. Then when I call to change to a lesser package to fit my budget I'm told I have to pay a $5 nuiciance fee! I think that is horrible! The recent Viacom rate hikes you were facing were far less than the additional so called programming that you have been shoving down our throats! It appears to me that Dish Network has become increasingly greedy and is about to lose many customers over this issue. (Speaking from many rate hikes and forced package upgrades)
    Others are smart enough to read and visit viacom's website to hear their side of the story.
    Additionally the measly $1 credit you are offering for losing a major part of the programming is a joke! I don't know about anyone else but my bill went up not down! The extra channels you tossed our way are useless to the average adult viewer. It's obvious that they were low budget channels merely given to try to smooth over many angry customers! You might try to make an effort to rectify the situation and offer some more valuable programming until you do.

    All this for 6 cents per subscriber! Good Grief!
    (see news release below)

    signed,
    Dissatisfied with Dish Network!
    *******************************************
    Viacom Press Briefing on EchoStar Pulling our Networks

    March 9, 2004



    Remarks by Mark Rosenthal, President and COO, MTV Networks:



    For the past few months, as this situation with EchoStar has unfolded, we've been trying to take the high road, speaking just to the larger issues and trying to ignore the gross distortions and inaccuracies that Charlie Ergen and EchoStar have been flinging around. There comes a point, however, where you have to respond, if only to set the record straight. And that’s why we're here today – and we appreciate your taking the time to join us.



    As we said in our statement last night, we are disturbed and disappointed by EchoStar's decision to pull the plug on our channels. This is channel yanking by a distributor on an unprecedented scale. This is not something we wanted to happen or would ever want to happen. We are broadcasters and programmers, and the most important relationship we have is with our viewers. The idea that something or someone would disrupt that relationship -- particularly in an effort to extort a better deal for themselves -- is, to us, really reprehensible. And, additionally, as consumer oriented people, it really bothers us to see a company treat its customers with such disregard.



    EchoStar has been trying to paint itself as the victim in this situation. To hear them tell it, they were forced to pull the plug on our networks to protect their subscribers from the “exorbitant” rate increases and unfair carriage requirements we were trying to “foist” on them.



    In a word, that's ludicrous.



    Here are the facts:



    First of all, EchoStar is hardly some small mom-and-pop operation that is being pushed around. It has more than 9 million subscribers -- 10% of all multichannel homes and 43% of all satellite households. It is the fourth largest distributor in the U.S. and as a result it has enormous negotiating power.



    Faced with the clout that comes with having that massive distribution, we've been doing everything humanly possible we can -- for months now -- to finalize a deal with them. As I said before, the last thing we ever want to do is wind up in a situation where our viewers can't get the channels and shows they love. So in our negotiations with EchoStar, we were extremely flexible and offered substantial compromises.



    Now I hope you will keep in mind that every cable and satellite operator negotiates these sorts of agreements, and we have been able to establish and maintain solid business partnerships with virtually all of them. The sole exception is EchoStar/DISH Network.



    Along these lines, I would also point out that over the years there have been thousands of successful marketplace negotiations between broadcasters and cable and satellite distributors involving the packaging of retransmission consent rights with cable carriage. In all those cases, only one company ever had a problem with it. That’s right -- it was EchoStar, which complained to the FCC about the same "packaging" practices it challenged in its recent lawsuit against Viacom.



    As it happens, the FCC decisively rejected EchoStar's complaint, pointing out that Congress established a detailed regulatory scheme that permits broadcasters to negotiate retransmission consent and cable carriage together. For the same reason, the Federal district court judge who is hearing EchoStar’s case against Viacom recently denied EchoStar's motion for a preliminary injunction and gave us permission to deauthorize (which we did not do) EchoStar's carriage of CBS if we were unable to work things out.



    It's also worth noting that EchoStar has a history of bringing frivolous lawsuits and has been sanctioned or admonished by federal judges several times, including in a litigation with CBS when they were found by a Federal judge to have engaged in "clearly willful" copyright violations. Just this week, a federal judge sanctioned EchoStar in yet another an antitrust case they brought.



    Anyway, we could not have worked harder to try to make a deal with EchoStar. And back on Jan. 15, we did make a deal with them, and then they reneged.



    We don't really understand why. Because despite what they are saying now, the increases we've been asking for are both modest and reasonable -- amounting to less than 6 cents per month per subscriber for all of our services (combined) including CBS and BET. To put that in perspective, I'd point out that EchoStar recently raised its rates to subscribers by as much as three dollars per month. I'd also point out that what we were seeking for all of our multiple channels together -- which include Nickelodeon, the #1 rated cable network -- was substantially less than the $2 a month per subscriber that distributors pay for ESPN alone. In all, Americans spend more than 20% of their TV viewing time watching our networks, yet our fees amount to less than 5% of what EchoStar generates from their average customer.



    Those are the facts. And the facts make it clear that EchoStar/DISH Network's decision to pull the plug on our channels shows they care a lot more about lining their own pockets than about what matters to their subscribers. Rather than negotiate in good faith like every other cable and satellite operator, they prefer to peddle insults, distortions, and outright untruths. Which is to say they are not acting in the public interest or in a commercially reasonable manner.



    We would still like to reach a deal with EchoStar that would allow its millions of subscribers to continue receiving the Viacom channels and shows they love. But the ball is in EchoStar's court, and unless and until they pick it up, all we can do is inform their unhappy customers, who are calling us by the tens of thousands, about all the excellent alternative TV distribution services available to them with cable and with DirecTV.





    Remarks by Marty Franks, EVP, CBS:



    I'm afraid March Madness came 10 days early this year. Normally March at CBS is all about buzzer beaters and Cinderella stories.



    But in this version of March Madness, time ran out at midnight last night, and despite his protestations about being the "mom and pop" victim in this fight, Charlie Ergen and Echostar are no Cinderella.



    First and foremost, CBS sympathizes with our viewers who awakened this morning to find that their local CBS station had been dropped by Dish Network. We hope for their sake we can conclude a new agreement with Echostar quickly.



    If not, CBS would like to remind our viewers that we are available, for free, to every viewer with an antenna, but also via DirecTV and their local cable operator.
     
  12. normang

    normang Icon

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    Nov 14, 2002
    Susan... where do your "facts" come from? Since your a guest, I can only assume that your just another troll for Viacom..
     
  13. torque91

    torque91 Cool Member

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    Hey there Susan in New Hampshire, they got you working late up there at Viacom tonight. Why don't you call it a day and go home. :D
     
  14. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo Announces Class Action Lawsuit against Dish Network for Enforcing Termination Fee of up to $240 after Dropping CBS and Other Viacom Channels

    http://money.excite.com/jsp/nw/nwdt_ge.jsp?news_id=cmt-070b8457&feed=cmt&date=20040310

    Eric Gibbs, counsel for plaintiff, (said) "We do not believe that our client, nor any of the members of the class we seek to represent, should have to pay a fee to terminate their subscriptions with Dish, particularly when Dish is not providing the services it initially said it would provide."

    The suit's good for California subs.
     
  15. Geronimo

    Geronimo Native American Potentate DBSTalk Gold Club

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    The standard residential agreement does cover this. But this iis America. People can file law suits if they want to.
     
  16. A11en

    A11en New Member

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    The one thing I have not seen brought up is duration, I am going to get a $1.00 credit on my Echostar bill. If the channels are gone for a week, that is like a $4.00 per month credit for the lost services. If you are expecting this to go on for more than a month, then all the bitching about "Oh, I am getting only $1 for losing 8 channels out of my 40 channels, it should be $10 since those are the only channels I watch", is valid. If, as it seems to me they want to get this resolved as quickly as possible, and you get your channels back in a couple more days, then for those who are paying $90 a month, or $3 per day, the credit of $1 for a loss of service over 4 days is an 8.3% refund. If you are only getting the AT50 package at $30 a month, that becomes a 25% refund.

    An aside, I had not even noticed they were gone as I have set up a favorites list and it turns out, none of the affected channels are in it or have been tuned into for probably months in my household. I get CBS from an OTA antenna - locals just became available in my area in the last couple of months and as I have done without them in the six years of being a Dish customer, I had no reason to have added them. Thus the $1 credit for losing channels I never watched anyway is a blessing for me, although I do understand that some other people did watch them and do miss them no that they are gone for the moment.
     
  17. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Since you are registed here at DBSTalk, you must be a Dish Jerk. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Jarrett76

    Jarrett76 Legend

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    Nov 5, 2003

    That dident take long did it? The longer it goes the more lawsuits will pop up.
     
  19. EchoDork

    EchoDork AllStar

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    Jan 13, 2004
    As a former Echostar CSR, I can't tell you how tickled I am about this whole thing. I hope Viacom really drives a wrench up Charlie's ass with this one. This is like sweet poetic justice for the horrible way they treat their employees, and the recent trend of sticking it to new customers by reducing promotions and raising rates. God, I love it. Really puts a crimp in their quest to dupe 10 million customers.

    The $1 compensation? ROFL! I thought someone was kidding at first!! That's exactly what I would have done if I were CEO of a large corporation looking to slap my customers in the face as hard as possible. Let's review Echostar's business operation for the last six months:

    1. Introduce the SuperDish, a sprawling piece of junk that some customers need to install to get their locals. It's twice as big as a regular dish, cannot be troubleshot without paying for a service call, and sticks you with another contract to sign and stay with. Let's not pay our retailers properly to install them, prompting a massive labor shortage which leaves customers waiting for MONTHS to get their SuperDishes.

    2. Slash DHP and Free Dish benefits. Increase revenue for the company while reducing benefits for the customer. No more free in-home service, longer contracts, new hidden fees.

    3. Create a fundamentally unlikable advertising campaign about cable companies raising rates that flunks in test groups across the country. Fail to notice our own employees LAUGHING at us.

    4. Raise our rates. But not as much as cable. Well, not for everybody. But you get more channels now. Like... Bingo TV.

    5. Yank some of the most popular channels on TV over six cents a customer. Blame Viacom. Hope the customers don't do their homework and believe us.

    6. Send our employees into double-mandatory-overtime and keep them there for months. Nothing says "quality customer service" like a supervisor who's in his 8th hour of unpaid overtime.

    Soraya's gone, Murdoch owns DirecTV, VOOM is about to eat your entire HDTV market... who's going to save you now, Charlie? So glad I left the company when I did, I can't even imagine what the working conditions must be with 500 calls in queue all day for weeks straight.

    I wonder if Viacom's hiring?
     
  20. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    Uh, if you're having trouble getting hired for another CSR gig, I think I might know why. :rolleyes:
     
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