Viacom Uses Fans As Hostages: Blocks Daily Show, Colbert Streams For Everyone To Spite DirecTV

from the um.-overkill dept

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.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2012 @ 8:18am

    Supplementing this news.

    Viacom canned not 2 but a lot of shows that it was putting out for free.

    Quote:
    Shows for which full episodes are no longer available include: Comedy Central's Daily Show and The Colbert Report; Nick's SpongeBob SquarePants, Victorious and iCarly; Nick Jr.'s Dora the Explorer; MTV's Jersey Shore and Teen Mom; and TV Land's Hot in Cleveland.


    http://www.multichannel.com/article/487036-Viacom_Yanks_Free_TV_Shows_From_Web_Amid_Di recTV_Impasse.php

    And according to Viacom the internet is only to serve as promotional marketing tool.

    Quote:
    According to a Viacom spokesman, the company is still offering hundreds of free episodes online but chose to pare back the number of full-length shows available because DirecTV is marketing the Internet video destinations as an alternative to the full networks. Viacom has always intended free online episodes to be a promotional marketing tool for affiliates, he added.


    Kicking and screaming Viacom needs to be dragged around.

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