Now that Viacom and DirecTV have kissed and made up — with a deal worth $600 million per year, according to Bloomberg — all the bilious stuff they were saying about each other has been wiped off their websites (see DirecTV, Viacom Clinch Carriage Pact).
On its official blog, Viacom had called DirecTV’s claims that the programmer was trying to force it to carry Epix for $500 million “another complete work of fiction from the company.” That’s been removed.
Viacom’s whendirectvdrops.com site, which had urged viewers to call DirecTV to demand Nick, MTV, et al. be restored now posts the Friday press release.
Viacom also has pulled down the spoofs of the DirecTV “get rid of cable” ad it posted on YouTube (see ‘When SpongeBob Gets Upset, He Calls Stephen Colbert’). You can still see it here, posted by a DirecTV customer who captured it off one of the Viacom networks during the blackout.
Similarly, DirecTV’s directvpromise.com site has been (mostly) cleansed of anti-Viacom material, including the video of CEO Mike White saying that “unfortunately Viacom has decided to take their channels away from our customers. It’s a temporary and regrettable tactic to try to force you to pay substantially more for their networks — even the ones you don’t watch or care about.”
DirecTV’s Derek Chang, though, did get a parting shot in the operator’s press release, saying that the resolution of the nine-day standoff “serves notice to all media companies that bullying TV providers and their customers with blackouts won’t get them a better deal.”
DirecTV ultimately won the propaganda battle as mainstream press coverage and bloggers spread the blame equally (whereas distributors usually fare worse in these disputes). Moreover, the DBS operator claimed that Viacom not only “took Epix off the table” but dropped their asking price, according to Sanford Bernstein senior analyst Todd Juenger.
“For the first time in memory, it was the distributor that won the public relations war,” he wrote in a note Friday.
Great! We’re all best buddies again in the pay-TV industry.
Until the next big contract fight erupts.
New Date: TV’s Cloud Power, exploring how operators and media companies are tapping into cloud-based technologies, has been rescheduled for Thursday, Sept. 13, at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel. Check back at multichannel.com/cloud for an updated list of speakers and participants.