Just last week it was hard to go anywhere without hearing some sort of advertisement from corporation giants DirecTV and Viacom. During that duration, twenty six channels including popular networks such as MTV and Nickelodeon were pulled off the air so Viacom could demand more money for their channels from DirecTV subscribers. DirecTV claimed they were holding out and refusing this demand and gave viewers their ‘DirecTV promise’. Meanwhile, Viacom played consistent radio announcements asking listeners to call DirecTV demanding back their channels.
So what actually happens when two key money-making players go head to head? The first result was 20 million homes losing channels that held some of their favorite programs. The second result was that Viacom was hurt more then they probably anticipated, with ratings going down for their shows and their competition networks such as Disney beating them with ratings by twenty percent. The third and end result was a vicious battle that all of America watched. All the blackout channels played a repetitive message from the DirecTV CEO explaining their side of the argument. Viacom then lashed out and played their message on the radio as well as pulling their shows off their internet websites, so DirecTV viewers had no alternate means to watch their beloved shows.
Even though most DirecTV viewers gave a heavy sigh of relief the morning of July 20th that the rest of their programs were back, both sides were still hurt. DirecTV now has to pay 20 percent more to Viacom, but emerges as the winner since the Viacom network suffered a major blow to their reputation. The fight enabled DirecTV viewers to perceive Viacom as just another greedy corporation that does not genuinely have the public interest in hand and only wants more of their consumers’ money. However, DirecTV still does not come out of this fight with a squeaky clean image either. For a bit over a week the whole country was able to sit back and witness one of the largest ‘television blackout’ cat fights, where two sides were pinned against each other over reputation and money.