Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Who really won the public relations war between DirecTV and Viacom?
Good news for DirectTV’s 20 million U.S. customers. A deal was struck between DirectTV and Viacom early Friday, restoring 26 networks to subscribers including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.
The two companies have been fighting over fees, triggering a nine-day blackout. The terms of the new deal were not disclosed.
Both sides are claiming victory, but for the first time in history the distributor – DirectTV – seems to have won the public relations war. The blackout resulted in Viacom’s channels, such as Nickelodeon, losing ground to competitors like the Disney channel. But the battle did cost DirectTV some customers during the same period.
What will DirectTV’s next big negotiation be? Will more channels come down before deals can be made? Will the DirectTV agreement result in better terms for other programmers down the road?
Andrew Wallenstein, TV Editor, Variety