On Friday, Viacom and DirecTV came to a new seven-year agreement. The agreement makes over 20 million DirecTV subscribers very happy as they will now receive their favorite shows once again. The satellite TV provider reached the agreement to have the shows telecast from Viacom. However, the dispute’s size, scope and high profile could make all future programming battles different.
The dispute between the two companies caused more than 20 million subscribers to lose 26 networks for a full nine days. That made the length, scope and size of the blackout unprecedented for pay-TV in the U.S. Of late, there have been many contentious relationships among distributors and program makers, because the industry has reached its peak in growth.
Industry insiders believe the dispute between the two companies will be remembered as a distributor and programmer turning point for negotiations. One expert said he believed that the winner of the battle was DirecTV, because they earned customer respect and that could help customers of satellite television going forward when or if developers decide to increases prices substantially.
All of the 26 networks including BET, MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central will be restored by Viacom, which blacked them out on July 10. Viacom blacked out the channels when satellite provider DirecTV would not accept the increase of 30% Viacom was demanding.
No details about the new agreement were made public, but it is thought that DirecTV will pay $600 million during the first year of the new agreement.