Bad news for all those Dora the Explorer lovers: Viacom and DirecTV have yet to resolve their dispute that resulted in last week’s blackout of popular cable channels like Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.
On its website, Viacom claimed that “DirecTV has moved backwards significantly and created more obstacles to reaching an agreement.” DirecTV immediately fired back by saying, “Viacom’s current statement on our negotiations is completely inaccurate. They made a proposal last night for our carriage of the 17 channels they pulled from DirecTV and we accepted all material terms for those channels including an increase that was more than fair. We are ready to close this deal at any time and restore those channels to our customers.
“However, as part of that offer, Viacom insists that we carry the EPIX channel at an additional cost of more than half a billion dollars,” the satellite provider continued. “We know our customers don’t want to pay such an extreme price for an extra channel, they simply want the ones they had returned to them. We stand ready and willing to work with Viacom to get this done and, once again, ask Viacom to do the right thing and restore these channels to our customers immediately.”
On midnight of July 10, 17 Viacom-owned cable nets went dark on DirecTV after the conglomerate failed to reach a new carriage deal with the satellite provider. DirecTV says Viacom wants a 30% increase in fees to carry the nets, while Viacom has accused the satellite provider of lowballing the conglomerate.