July 18 Viacom Inc said talks have
broken down with DirecTV Group to restore its 26
networks to the satellite TV provider's 20 million U.S.
The New York media giant, whose popular networks include
MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, said in a statement posted
on its blog on Wednesday that DirecTV, the second largest pay-TV
provider, had no intention of working out a deal.
DirecTV subscribers are now without the channels for over a
week, making it easily one of the longest programming blackouts
involving this number of major networks and this many customers.
Viacom said it made a significant compromise last week to
get the deal through with the hope that programming would be
restored by Friday but DirecTV did not agree to its offer.
"Unfortunately, DirectTV has moved backwards significantly
and created more obstacles to reaching an agreement," Viacom
DirecTV, like other pay-TV distributors, has pushed backed
against what it claims are exorbitant increases in programming
fees that it says it does not want to pass on to customers.
DirecTV said Viacom's statement was "completely inaccurate".
It said Viacom's most recent proposal for the carriage of 17
channels at a fair price had also insisted that it carry its
EPIX movie channel at an additional cost of more than $500
Viacom said there appeared to be no end in sight for
resolving the dispute.