Want your MTV? Complain to Viacom Instead of DirecTV

re you still without BET, MTV, VH1 and 14 other channels? You’ve probably got DirecTV and are on the losing end of Viacom’s attempt to rob the company blind.

I see so many people on Twitter and Facebook squawking about how DirecTV needs to bring back their Viacom channels, but the truth is DirecTV didn’t take them away.

A complete blackout of a company’s channels is a fairly novel concept, but this is not a new idea. Every time you see some company’s advertisements telling you to “call your cable or satellite provider and tell them you want (insert network name here)” and you do it all you’re doing is acting as a pawn in their marketing scheme to bilk the cable or satellite provider (CSP) out of more money. You’re acting as an agent for the company and against your own interests.

The fees to broadcast networks on cable and satellite are called carriage fees. Here’s what happens when your CSP pays the networks’ increased carriage fees-they pass that increase on to you, the customer. So, basically, what you’re saying when you harass DirecTV or any other CSP is, “Please increase my bill.”

"We have been very willing to get a deal done, but Viacom is pushing DirecTV customers to pay more than a 30 percent increase, which equates to an extra $1 billion, despite the fact that the ratings for many of their main networks have plummeted," Derek Chang, DirecTV's executive vice-president of content, strategy and development, said in a statement.


This is the oldest trick in the book. A company will get their PR team to convince the public that the big, bad CSP is denying you of something and turn you against them. Once the CSP has gotten enough bad press, they eventually cave to the demands of the network or networks and raise their rates to keep pace.

Given that viewers are down, and down significantly, what gives Viacom the right to demand a 30 percent increase in profits from DirecTV? Even if they were up, do you really want to help Viacom take more of your money?

Instead of demanding Viacom networks back, I urge you to call, tweet, email and send letters to Viacom and tell them to stop being unreasonable and bring their content back to DirecTV at a discount for all the pain and suffering they’ve caused you.

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