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 @ 8:33am

    This is why the cable TV model needs to die.

    To them it's all about taking their own viewers hostage to collect a ransom from the cable and satellite providers.

    And cable and satellite providers are pushing themselves towards extinction by giving into the hostage situation and raising their prices year after year. I mean, TRIPLING your prices over an 11 year period is an unsustainable business model for any industry. This is part of why Hulu and Netflix are doing so well, the have reasonable prices.

    If cable and satellite providers all got together and said NO at the same time then Viacom and others would be forced to give in, or lose all their revenue streams. But of course Viacom won't let that happen, they make their deals end at different times on purpose, so that customers can jump to another cable/satellite provider if one of them refuses to pay the ransom. Also, it would probably break anti-monopoly laws for them to all get together and pressure Viacom and others together.

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