So, as the dispute between Viacom and DirecTV over how much money Viacom wants for its channels wore on, the various Viacom channels like MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodian disappeared for DirecTV subscribers
. As often happens in such situations, DirecTV told its customers that they regretted the situation and were working on it, but
in the meantime, they could check out missing programs online. Viacom's massive overkill response? Pull the free streams it offers online
of two of its most popular shows: The Daily Show
and The Colbert Report
. For everyone. Not just DirecTV subscribers. Because, apparently, pissing off consumers and driving them to unauthorized means, is... um... I don't know... supposedly going to get them on Viacom's side? This is the kind of "strategic" thinking that goes on at Viacom, apparently.
Of course, this really highlights the exceptionally distorted economics of the cable/satellite TV business, where it makes more sense to block
your direct relationship with fans and piss them off... in the hopes that it might make the satellite provider to pay you more money. Viacom's new motto, apparently, is: Using our fans as hostages
. This is why the TV market is so ripe for disruption.