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DirecTV Drops Viacom Channels

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.

Media 378

An anonymous reader writes "DirecTV has dropped all of Viacom's channels. This includes channels such as MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. The drop is reported to be over a carrier fee dispute. It appears programming content can magically disappear from satellite, too, and not just from streaming services. Viacom said it was 'because contract talks with DirecTV had “reached an impasse.” DirecTV, in turn, said in a statement that it had offered Viacom “increased fees for their networks going forward; we just can’t afford the extreme increases they are asking for.”' I guess pirating and physical media is the only way to make sure the content we pay for doesn't disappear."

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378 comments

Well there you go (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40618569)

If you want to see riots in America, this will do it.

Re:Well there you go (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618819)

If you want to see riots in America, this will do it.

Not if you're with DirecTV.... Viacom's channels have exclusive rights to "Riots in America".

Of course, if *all* the carriers refuse Viacom's fees, I guess you could say that the revolution will not be televised.

Re:Well there you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618901)

Hey, now, it's just South Park and Spongebob; it's not like they're missing a handegg game.

I don't see much to miss (5, Insightful)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 2 years ago | (#40618575)

Aside from a few Comedy Central programs, I don't seem much here that I'd miss. MTV is full of BS "reality" TV and Nick is full of kids shows that are usually no Netfix if you need them and, being kids shows, they probably won't care if they're watching reruns (or notice). So, really, what does Viacom have that is worth paying increased fees anyway? It's not like South Park costs that much to produce (maybe FCC fees?).

Re:I don't see much to miss (5, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40618633)

my wife are cancelling cable next month after we realized that we're paying $165 a month for triple play and the cable part is mostly the same few kids cartoons that we DVR and watch multiple times and we can buy them on amazon for $10 PER SEASON and watch unlimited times

dont underestimate the power of stupidity

Re:I don't see much to miss (2, Funny)

KhabaLox (1906148) | about 2 years ago | (#40619117)

my wife are

Mitt, is that you?

Re:I don't see much to miss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40619263)

That one doesn't work when he can actually talk off the cuff, unlike, uh, um, the, uh, sitting, uh, um, President.

Re:I don't see much to miss (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40619125)

Netflix streaming actually does have a fair bit of the kids crap. They do change it out pretty well, so it might be worth getting it for that.

Re:I don't see much to miss (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 2 years ago | (#40619233)

Damned dude, I have a $35/month package with 120 channels including history channel/cnn/comedy central/disney channel (and many others) through Cox cable...

It's the "triple play" part that jacks it up... well, that and "HD" & DVR.

Re:I don't see much to miss (3, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#40618879)

the bigger thing I guess is that if you had subscribed to a satellite service, signed up for a channel package and then *boom* it's out?

- another angle to look at this is that viacom viewed directv as a good robbery candidate since they had contractually obliged to deliver these channels to their clients? ("hey, they can't drop us, they already resold the service we're selling to them hahahah")

Re:I don't see much to miss (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 years ago | (#40618997)

MTV is full of BS "reality" TV

The sad part is that after decades of nothing, MTV finally has a show worth watching. I came across Awkward by accident while trying to find something to watch in between commercials and while not hooked, I do enjoy watching it.

The characters are fairly standard though Ming with her rabbit cap (or whatever it is) getting involved with the asian group (she's an outside asian) is getting hilarious.

No, you'll never learn what a Higgs Boson is from watching it, but it's a guilty pleasure to watch the show.

Re:I don't see much to miss (3, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40619069)

All the good parts of the Daily Show and spinoffs are available legally on the 'net anyway. So this wouldn't be a loss for me...

but still I always hope that this sort of idiocy causes drops en masse. I wouldn't bet any money on that, however... it's just a hope that "consumers" might actually kick a corporation in the ass for being jackasses for once.

Please sign in to your cable or sat account (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#40619251)

All the good parts of the Daily Show and spinoffs are available legally on the 'net anyway.

How long until the sites that legally make The Daily Show and The Colbert Report available require the user to sign into an account provided by a participating cable or satellite provider? (See this Slashdot article [slashdot.org].)

Re:I don't see much to miss (4, Informative)

demachina (71715) | about 2 years ago | (#40619253)

There is a considerable hypocrisy in DirectTV's CEO looping a video on the down channels complaining about how awful it is that Viacom is forcing them to take all the channels as one package.

I would love it if DirectTV let me buy the few channels they have we still watch ala carte for a small fraction of what they are charging for their packages.

As others have said, Viacom expecting another billion dollars for their especially pathetic channel line up is over the top. Once you get past The Daily Show, South Park and Colbert there is absolutely nothing Viacom is offering that is worth paying for. And since they are all loaded with ads, why do people even have to pay for them like they are premium channels.

I would also greatly appreciate if their boxes were setup to kill all the annoying shopping and religious channels they are carrying with simple switches. You can setup a custom guide without them but since they constantly move their channels around it is annoying to maintain it. Of course I imagine the shopping channels are paying them to force their channels down the throats of their customers so. . .

One of the great mysteries of life to me is why people watch shopping channels or buy the crap they sell keeping them in business. Consumerism has achieved its ultimate goal when people actually sit and watch channels that are nothing but ads. The pinnacle of this phenomenon is I recently saw a shopping channel purportedly selling houses in Florida. Pretty much the last thing anyone should be doing is buying real-estate sight unseen on a shopping channel using an auction that is guaranteed to be rigged.

Re:I don't see much to miss (1)

matrim99 (123693) | about 2 years ago | (#40619351)

Well it's a good thing that all of their subscribers have the exact same taste as you, then.

Sometimes, things that don't affect us at all will affect others in a significant way.

they are all evil (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40618593)

we go through this every year or so

Content owner wants more money and demands rate increase
TV service operator says no
content owner pulls channels
viewers scream bloody murder and rape and demand tv operator pony up a few $$$ of their limitless magical bank account
tv operator blinks first then raises rates
viewers complain but don't do anything
repeat in a few years

the content owners know people are dumb and live by the monthly payment and will blame their cable or satellite company. they sell their channels in bundles and raise the rates every few years. people continue to pay the higher rates because they are too stupid to do anything else other than look at rectangle with moving pictures

Re:they are all evil (1)

berashith (222128) | about 2 years ago | (#40618641)

I think that AMC and TCM are causing a stink with dish network right now also... so anyone who wants to watch walking dead is threatening to leave. Bonus to the content providers to time this together. The bundling really has to stop. I only want a la carte pricing anymore.

Re:they are all evil (2)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40618715)

isn't TCM part of time warner?

you want a la carte? pay itunes or amazon. don't expect it from cable. not going to happen

Re:they are all evil (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#40619275)

you want a la carte? pay itunes or amazon. don't expect it from cable.

So I guess people who want a la carte but also want political commentary or live sports are an edge case not worth serving, correct?

Re:they are all evil (2)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 2 years ago | (#40619033)

Yeah, and my mom told me Time-Warner & ABC are having a pissing match (my words, not hers). You can't win, no matter which provider you have.

Re:they are all evil (2)

ticker47 (954580) | about 2 years ago | (#40619119)

While a la carte would be nice, a lot of the channels bundled together would fail to grab enough viewers to make them economically feasible. You know that very few people will actually watch all 26 of those channels that Viacom has. Instead they'll opt to watch a two or three. Remove the bundling and all of the sudden the provider doesn't make enough money to keep airing all of those channels. A few might still make it, but a large portion of those channels would just cease to exist. When you lose channels, you lose variety and eventually you end up paying the same amount of money or more for a small subset of the channels you can get now with bundling.

Re:they are all evil (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40619265)

I really don't care about that, and I think neither would my parents.
Having 10 or 20 channels instead of 200 would be an improvement even if we paid the same, just because it's easier to find what I want to watch.
If I had cable, or satalite and watched tv I would have only the following channels:
BBC, Discovery, maybe HBO, or WB or something, and FOX.
My dad would probably throw in CNN, fox news and bloomberg in there as well.

Re:they are all evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40619267)

Not really. Bundling is a Tax to support niche channels. Unbundling should make it cheaper for the masses and more expensive for people who want those niche channels.

Re:they are all evil (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40619227)

I will welcome once cable companies introduce a la carte. It is going to be only defense against the content companies. Viacom wants double for their channels? Sure, we move you to a Viacom tier, where you get 1/3 the subscribers and only make less money overall.

Viacom tier doubles in price next year? Sorry, viacom thinks their channels are worth more, or markup is the same. Complain to viacom is you don't like it. Bundling hides pricing so much, that unbundling will eventually make the consumer choose what to pay for rather then this game of chicken between content and cable companies.

Re:they are all evil (1)

Thorodin (1999352) | about 2 years ago | (#40618697)

Yup. And I got off of that merry-go-round a long time ago. Now, when I stay in a hotel and see what's on, I'm glad I did.

Re:they are all evil (3, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | about 2 years ago | (#40618785)

The difference here is that Viacom does not own DirecTV. These so-called content owners pull the same bundling bullshit on distributors, which is another reason why unbundling should be mandated by law. Why should DirecTV have to carry (and pay for) a pile of shitty channels, just to get the one their customers actually want ?

Yes, consumers are ignorant and too lazy to stick to their guns, but the problem doesn't magically stop at the distributor's head-end. It's a dirty industry from top to bottom.

Re:they are all evil (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40618955)

we're probably close to the peak if we haven't passed it yet

i've noticed a lot more people i know don't watch TV much anymore and like to read, go outside and do other things that were considered geeky and dumb when i was a kid.

Re:they are all evil (2)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 2 years ago | (#40618973)

You do have to love how the distributors bitch that the content producers bundle channels & then go and do the exact same thing to the subscribers.

Me? I don't care, I dropped cable years & years ago when I realized the quality was steadily decreasing while the prices did the opposite. Anything I really want to see I can get on DVD or watch for free online.

Re:they are all evil (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40619085)

they have to do it by contract in a lot of cases. for instance Disney says that ESPN has to be in the basic tier and everyone has to pay for it. of course ESPN recently signed an almost $20 billion deal with baseball or a combo of sports to broadcast games and access to a lot of coverage so they have to pay for it. the deal lasts until 2017 or so.

its like catalog music sales from decades ago. the RIAA companies made most of their profits selling the same music in a new format or in greatest hits collections. except in TV you make money selling the same content on 20 different channels showing the same reruns or old movies

Re:they are all evil (1)

ooshna (1654125) | about 2 years ago | (#40619219)

You do have to love how the distributors bitch that the content producers bundle channels & then go and do the exact same thing to the subscribers.

You do realize that is because distributors are forced to pay for those other channels whether or not you would choose some or all of them? Whether you would pick 5 of Viacom's channels or all 25 DirecTv would have to pay the same price. So if they did start offering a pay per channel service the prices per channel would have to be high to cover there losses.

Breaking News (-1, Troll)

casings (257363) | about 2 years ago | (#40618603)

Way to break the story Slashdot, 15 hours after it actually happened.

Re:Breaking News (4, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 2 years ago | (#40618733)

Stories aren't broken on Slashdot. We wait for one or preferably several news articles are written, people have a chance to actually read them (I know, not exactly reality), and then we can discuss them intelligently.

Stop press!! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#40618775)

What do you think this is, some sort of high speed electromagnetic thing that can be updated at a whim? AT A WHIM?!

Geez, you kids today are so demanding.

Re:Stop press!! (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#40618871)

Geez, you kids today are so demanding.

Give him a break, his favorite TV channel is off the air and he's sitting there with nothing to do till it returns.

Re:Breaking News - whiny ass nerd (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40619179)

I know the facts sometimes confuse things so I'm sorry to lead with them.
Slashdot is a user contributed site (like Wikipedia only smarter).

If nobody thought Viacom/Directv was of any importance (and it isn't) for fifteen
whole hours, and you were glued to your laptop hitting "refresh" "refresh" "refresh"
hoping to learn why you couldn't watch Snookie and the other sluts of New Jersey,
please don't blame Slashdot.

You could have either submitted the thread yourself,
or quit whining about it.

Personally I prefer if you did the latter.

Mark

Obligatory... (2)

jaymzter (452402) | about 2 years ago | (#40618645)

And nothing of value was lost.

Any reason why Viacom or any other such wastewater producer can't just switch to streaming all their shows? I know not everyone has a computer, but I don't see why `channels` can't cut out the middle man in some instances and go directly to end users on a contract type basis. Maybe simulcast on cable for those that care and streaming only for those that want a la carte. Seems like a revenue source waiting to be tapped.

Re:Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618833)

Are any of the show worth 10 or 20 bucks a month... the filler channels help pay to keep cable costs down remove them and the price will skyrocket (as if they really need an excuse).

Sounds like a negotiating tactic (2)

jandrese (485) | about 2 years ago | (#40618649)

The problem is, both sides and neither side have the position of strength here. Viacom obviously wants the big bucks from the cable/satellite company, and the cable/satellite companies don't want people cancelling because you dropped the channels they care about. Maybe that's why there has been such a push for 2 year contracts on these services as of late. If the consumers are locked in the company could have a lot more leverage over the content producers.

Re:Sounds like a negotiating tactic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618893)

Satellite TV is very expensive to bring to customers. Dish Network breaks even after a new customer's first 2-year contract. So the contract is to prevent them from losing money from people who only want the service for 1 year and then quit.

Re:Sounds like a negotiating tactic (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 2 years ago | (#40618939)

In a typical house with kids, going without Spongebob may be your death knell

Re:Sounds like a negotiating tactic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40619239)

in my experience kids don't seem to know or care if they are watching the same re-run for the 20th time in the row (they often even specifically request it)...so just get a spongebob DVD and put it on loop.

Re:Sounds like a negotiating tactic (2)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | about 2 years ago | (#40619287)

I have kids, and Nick has almost nothing of value. Disney on the other hand is a lot better. The writing for some of the new shows is really good. It's gotten a lot better once the Cyrus's quit/got let go. It's got sight gags for the kids, and it's got some intellectual humor for the adults. Now if they could play more than 3 shows a season, so that we can watching newer stuff more often. Or just play Phineas and Ferb all day (which I highly recommend all geeks on this site watch at least a few episodes. It's really good, IMO).

Yeah, not missing much (2)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#40618659)

Both CC and MTV used to have Descent programs and Music respectively. Since neither, have either, I'm good with that.

Re:Yeah, not missing much (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618767)

What are these "descent programs" you are talking about? I loved the video game [wikipedia.org] and the Freespace spinoff; so I am sure I would love a tv show based on them.

Re:Yeah, not missing much (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#40618851)

And even when they had them, they didn't know what to do. Liquid Television on MTV spawned Beavis & Butthead (hey, even if you hated them, they became pretty big) and Aeon Flux and whatnot, but LT itself was never nurtured or renewed or anything. It aired seemingly at random and never had new episodes. FFS, is it that hard to go out and find animated short films by students/amateurs who'd jump at the chance to have their work aired on a national network?

Content Producers (1)

arbiterxero (952505) | about 2 years ago | (#40618661)

Now that Larger and larger companies are being bitten by the content producers, MPAA, RIAA, and other copyright moguls out to make money off someone else's work...

Maybe we can finally make some progress.

Re:Content Producers (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40618759)

comcast and time warner have their own content producers. direct TV is in a niche market of people who hate cable or don't have it available in their area

Re:Content Producers (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 2 years ago | (#40618977)

A 'Niche' market with 20 million subscribers? I don't think that word means what you think it means. They are the largest satellite provider in the U.S.

That is not a niche market.

As to content providers and carriers, none of these have enough of both to be fully sustainable except to a small portion of the population. I wouldn't be satisfied with only channels owned by Sony, or Time Warner, etc.

I fully blame the content owners here (Viacom). They are forcing the carriers to buy bundled services for 'crap' channels just to get the premium channels. Hitting the carriers with a 30% increase is crazy as they will in turn just have to pass that off to their customers. The providers do the same thing. If they all went to ala-carte, there would be a huge drop in garbage channels, and the consumer would be better off overall, with the exception of the aforementioned content and carriers since their entire profit model runs off of bundling at this point. They don't produce enough 'good' content to justify the prices that we pay for unless it's bundled with a lot of 'crap' channels to make up for the lack of general quality overall.

understanding of TV fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618671)

I guess pirating and physical media is the only way to make sure the content we pay for doesn't disappear.

You don't pay for content, you pay for a channel, and get whatever content is pumped through that channel. This is where copyright law actually works correctly, that you can record anything being shunted at you at wierd times to watch at your leisure afterward.

Pirating is the act of getting media through an unauthorized channel, and while that can be an effective response to silly company choices like this, it does still have a risk of getting some *IAA groups after you.

The part that most annoys me about anything involving paid TV channels is that I remember when cable was advertised as not having any commercials on the cable-only channels. Now they're at least as bad as broadcasts.

What does that do to contracts? (3, Interesting)

Tancred (3904) | about 2 years ago | (#40618685)

I was considering switching from Comcast to DirecTV recently. Without Comedy Central (specifically The Daily Show and The Colbert Report) I wouldn't switch. But what if I had switched and they dropped one of the main channels I wanted? Would I have grounds to get out of a term contract? Would I have to go to small claims court if they resisted?

Re:What does that do to contracts? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40618889)

It's not just Viacom shows. DirectTV also shitcanned G4 [wikipedia.org] a couple of years ago. Their cable line-up is looking a little thin these days.

Re:What does that do to contracts? (4, Informative)

Spritzer (950539) | about 2 years ago | (#40618947)

Tough Luck.
DirecTV Terms of Service

(d) Our Programming Changes. Many factors affect the availability, cost and quality of programming and may influence the decision to raise prices and the amount of any increase. These include, among others, programming and other costs, consumer demand, market and shareholder expectations, and changing business conditions. Accordingly, we must reserve the unrestricted right to change, rearrange, add or delete our programming packages, the selections in those packages, our prices, and any other Service we offer, at any time. We will endeavor to notify you of any change that is within our reasonable control and its effective date. In most cases this notice will be about one month in advance. You always have the right to cancel your Service, in whole or in part, if you do not accept the change (see Section 5). If you cancel your Service, a deactivation fee (described in Sections 2 & 5(b)) or other charges may apply. Credits, if any, to your account will be posted as described in Section 5. If you do not cancel, your continued receipt of our Service will constitute acceptance.

I would assume most or all other carriers have similar clauses.

Re:What does that do to contracts? (2)

Tancred (3904) | about 2 years ago | (#40619375)

I had no doubt something like that was in the contract. What I wonder though, is how that holds up legally, given their advertising of channel packages. If that term of the contract was absolute, one month in to your contract they could change the price to $1000/month and cut everything but the golf channel. But I don't think they'd get away with charging their early termination / deactivation fees. So where's the line...?

And to compensate customers... (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 years ago | (#40618691)

DirecTV has dropped all of Viacom's channels.

... DirectTV will, of course, lower their subscription fees accordingly.

Re:And to compensate customers... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40619003)

If they were smart, they would.

At least their customers would side with dtv if their bill dropped 5-10 bucks.

Re:And to compensate customers... (5, Informative)

PancakeMan (530649) | about 2 years ago | (#40619013)

I know you were joking, but just as a point of information, it looks like DirecTV is giving away the Encore channels in an effort at compensation while the Viacom stations are dark.

Re:And to compensate customers... (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40619295)

Well, they cut off our hamburgers. But at least they're compensating us with all-you-can-eat horse manure.

Terminate Contract? (1)

pthor1231 (885423) | about 2 years ago | (#40618699)

I wonder if there is verbiage in consumer's contracts that allow them to end it early with no fee due to an adverse change, similar to cell phones. People outside of the 6 month or 1 year promo pricing who are still in the 2 year contract might benefit from this.

Re:Terminate Contract? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 2 years ago | (#40619047)

I read on another website that the opposite is true. There are terms that allow DirectTV to drop channels but the subscriber can't drop DirectTV after losing channels without paying the ETF.

Re:Terminate Contract? (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#40619169)

I wonder if there is verbiage in consumer's contracts that allow them to end it early with no fee due to an adverse change

Yes. You can get out for $15.

(d) Our Programming Changes. Many factors affect the availability, cost and quality of programming and may influence the decision to raise prices and the amount of any increase. These include, among others, programming and other costs, consumer demand, market and shareholder expectations, and changing business conditions. Accordingly, we must reserve the unrestricted right to change, rearrange, add or delete our programming packages, the selections in those packages, our prices, and any other Service we offer, at any time. We will endeavor to notify you of any change that is within our reasonable control and its effective date. In most cases this notice will be about one month in advance. You always have the right to cancel your Service, in whole or in part, if you do not accept the change (see Section 5). If you cancel your Service, a deactivation fee (described in Sections 2 & 5(b)) or other charges may apply. Credits, if any, to your account will be posted as described in Section 5. If you do not cancel, your continued receipt of our Service will constitute acceptance.

Piracy is the answer (3, Funny)

bhlowe (1803290) | about 2 years ago | (#40618703)

Yes, drop your comcast and DirectTV and just pirate everything! Nice ethical solution... (ducking)

Re:Piracy is the answer (4, Interesting)

Spritzer (950539) | about 2 years ago | (#40619035)

Or do like I do. Pay them for service and download most everything anyway. I'm paying for it. How I choose delivery is my business.

SABnzbd [sabnzbd.org] + SickBeard [sickbeard.com] + AstraWeb [astraweb.com] = FU and your silly games

Re:Piracy is the answer (1)

bcong (1125705) | about 2 years ago | (#40619175)

Honest question: Is that illegal? It could be argued that it is a mechanism of time-shifting, but from my past reading, the mechanism of distribution determines legality so downloading content that even you pay for (e.g. HBO Shows) would be illegal because it is a different distribution mechanism. Any thoughts? I'd love to download a show that I forgot to Tivo, but I'm under the impression that it is against current law.

Re:Piracy is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40619401)

Completely off topic here,
but I think ethics is a giant pile of BS.
Almost every single example of an ethical dilemma I've ever seen is completely straight forward.
The only reason it's an ethical dilemma is because the ethical solution is inconvenient, and people
want some way to justify choosing the other option.
(We could have saved him, but then 1000 people would have lost their jobs.)

For instance, in class we had to role play this made up situation where we were an aircraft manufacturer
that had to test fly a plane, but the plane might have been damaged.
We had the choice of flying the plane on time and risk killing the test pilot, or delay the test flight and risk the company going bankrupt.
I think the ethical solution is obvious, but we choose to fly anyway (can't risk those people getting laid off after all).
We got lucky and 2 coin tosses decided the pilot survived and we made millions.

So what was lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618731)

A Music channel that doesn't play music and a Comedy channel that isn't funny and a cartoon channel with sucky cartoons...

Thanks Viacom and DirectTV! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618741)

This was precisely the motivation I needed to finally make the jump and cancel my TV cable/satellite services completely. For months I've been dancing around the idea of just picking up the TV shows I enjoy on Disc or using Netflix but I stuck around.

I almost made the jump when this sort of bullshit was going on with AMC. But now that this is the second time this has happened I am done. Good luck sticking it to your loyal customers with either increased rates to pay for Viacom or by reduced quality of service (which I'm certain they will not reduce prices for).

I'm not on a contract so I do not have to worry about this, but I wonder if this can be considered a change in service and allow people to get out of their contracts early.

Who cares? Who needs it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618747)

Good... and I mean it. Television is the worst thing that people do to themselves. End the control that corporations have on us

Re:Who cares? Who needs it? (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 2 years ago | (#40619289)

No, drugs are the worst thing that people do to themselves. Television is entertainment. Or maybe that's just me, and you just get sucked into it like a little lemming when you watch it.

Greedy Networks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618749)

Remember when cable channels were commercial free? I do. It was because you paid to watch them.
Now cable networks are raking in advertisement revenue, and are demanding cable and satellite providers give them more money.
They are biting the hand that feeds them. I guess they don't want anyone watching their ads.

I use Roku (4, Insightful)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#40618789)

Canceled my Cable Subscription, which I was paying over $100 a month for. With Roku, I have Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime, all of which cost less than $25 a month, plus my roof antenna for local channels. Internet TV is going to be the future.

Re:I use Roku (1)

realmolo (574068) | about 2 years ago | (#40619083)

That's great, until ISPs in the US start moving to a "metered" service. Which they are already doing.

You won't be watching all of your TV over the internet if you only have 5GB of data transfer/month.

The solution? City-run internet utilities. They aren't as ridiculously greedy as the private ISPs are, and you can, to some degree, control how they run their operation by voting in city elections.

Re:I use Roku (1)

DewDude (537374) | about 2 years ago | (#40619137)

Funny, Hulu made me login with my Verizon ID to prove I had a TV subscription. Don't assume InternetTV is the future, Hulu is already starting to comply with the requirement of needing a "cable" subscription. I believe this was mentioned on this site a couple months ago. Pretty soon, if you don't already pay for TV, you won't be able to pay for streaming.

Re:I use Roku (1)

RichMeatyTaste (519596) | about 2 years ago | (#40619283)

Do you have Hulu Plus? I never got confirmation whether that decision affects those of us who pony up the $15/month for Plus. I have no issues watching Hulu+ with my Roku (and I have no cable/sat service).

Re:I use Roku (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#40619293)

I doubt that's going to happen. These companies get popular because the other guys are screwing everyone, makes no-sense to follow the same path. People will always be in favor of the cheaper/easier solution, that's how Movie Rental places all went out of business.

Costs vs Promises (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#40618795)

Regardless of the weasel words in the fine print of the subscription brochure, it seems to me that when you sign up with DirectTV and they drop channels simply because there was a cost change seems like a breach of contract. Costs have always changed over the years, up and down, yet DirectTV's prices seldom decline when suppliers offer programming for less.

Holding your customers hostage seems to be the common tactic these days. Cities counties and states pass new taxes for one fluff package after another, but when the budget shrinks and they need a tax increase the first cuts threatened are to Police Fire and Teachers.

there should be a legal provision (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#40618837)

for consumer reimbursement in such cases

you'd see these situations get settled long before the consumer suffers

but i guess the average consumer, because they don't have a lobbyist, doesn't get a say

perhaps it is good then: no tv, maybe they'll get off their asses and agitate or vote

TimeWarner has also dropped ABC (Hearst) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618839)

Hearst says "you can still watch with antenna or satellite", but the irony is that here in Hawaii, ABC content is relayed to neighbor islands via TWC fiber.

ABC "solved" the problem by simply powering down their transmitters; you can only watch KITV with antenna if you're also on Oahu.

Even if I wanted to install cable to watch ABC, there's no cable on my street.

How ironic: CAPCHA is "consumes".

I think it's about Epix as well (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#40618931)

I think it's about Epix as well.

HAY DIRECTV want to keep the Viacom channels then you must add EPIX in the tear that we want.

Look out comcast you may be next.

Re:I think it's about Epix as well (1)

logical_failure (2405644) | about 2 years ago | (#40619141)

EPIX, EPIX2, and EPIXDR are awesome. They're showing first rate, blockbuster movies - before they even hit Netflix streaming - plus, EpixDR is showing all the awesome campy B movies..

Someone needed to stand up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618941)

Every year its the same thing, the media companies like Viacom push for more cash, and produce shows that have baked in advertising, time-slots that are overrun with commercials, and bundle in channels that either don't make sense anymore or are useless. Meanwhile TWC, DirectTV and other TV subscription providers have to jack up rates to support both gaining money for themselves as well as paying for these increases. Hopefully one day ale-cart pricing / tv can be achieved...

Personally I don't feel that I should have to pay to watch TV. I get plenty of channels OTA and these local broadcast stations have been sustainable and profitable.... I also feel that services like Hulu, Netfix, ITunes and Amazon might be the future of TV, but it require of shift from the consumer from "vegging out" in front of a TV to actually WANTING to watch the shows they pay for.

In case you were wondering. (3, Informative)

Steauengeglase (512315) | about 2 years ago | (#40619015)

They own the following (via Wikipedia):

MTV, MTV2, MTV Tr3Âs, MTV Desi, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, mtvU, Nickelodeon, Nick 2/Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, CMT, CMT Pure Country, CMT (Canada) (10%), TV Land, VH1, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, BET Networks, BET, BET Hip-Hop, BET Gospel, Centric, Palladia, Comedy Central, Logo, TMF, VIVA and Spike.

Of course the real loss there is Nickelodeon. Folks have to plop their kids down in front of something and no Nickelodeon or Nick Jr. means crying young 'uns and cancelled service. Not a pleasant thought if I were DirecTV.

Antitrust? (2)

jgoemat (565882) | about 2 years ago | (#40619215)

Of course the real loss there is Nickelodeon.

Of all these channels, the only one I really care about is Comedy Central, but I might watch something on Spike every once in a while. Do you think Viacom would be doing this if we could buy individual channels? They make money from ads which they bombard us with more and more every year. I think Viacom would be happy that their ads are getting to more households. I find it ridiculous that I have to pay for BET Gospel and CMT Pure Country when all I want to watch is South Park.

you can do it! (0, Redundant)

jihiggs (1611261) | about 2 years ago | (#40619135)

I made the jump from sheep to human over 6 years ago. I moved into a large house with some friends, we had all planned on getting cable tv and internet when we moved in. for some reason, I dont recall why, we couldnt get service hooked up for over a month. not having internet kinda sucked, but there was a coffee shop down the way that had it free. at the end of the waiting period, they finaly hooked up the house, we got internet running and all was well. couple days went by and we said, wait, didnt we buy cable tv? how come we havent hooked it up? looking at each other we asked, uh, do you miss it? we all agreed our lives had become that much richer NOT having cable tv in the house. and we didnt, and I havent ever since. I now rent a room from some people, I have cable hooked up in my room, I have plans to watch mythbusters on sundays, but it never really happens. I cant see myself having cable tv ever again. I have netflix, while the content isnt what it used to be, its still enough for me to unwind after work.

Hilarious duelling message scrollers (3, Informative)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about 2 years ago | (#40619203)

So I have DirecTV and was watching a DVRed show on ComedyCentral last night and noticed that Viacom had added a scrolling message to the bottom of the screen where they published the DirecTV customer service number and told everyone to call DirecTV to protest the removal of Viacom channels. So DirecTV allows that to stand, but shrunk the actual broadcast channel subtly, so they could fit their own scrolling message below the Viacom one telling subscribers that Viacom are greedy bastards that want to charge DirecTV a billion extra dollars for their channels.

Hilarious. Then it went black at 9pm PDT and switched to one of those generic channel selector guide channels.

Whatever... I guess I'll have to browse Youtube to get my fill of Tosh.0-style Internet video idiocy for a couple weeks until the babies work out an agreement.

ala carte? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40619373)

maybe we'll finally get ala carte this way with content providers leaving the distribution services and streaming from their own servers.

I have to side with DirecTV here (1)

wbav (223901) | about 2 years ago | (#40619387)

So apparently Viacom is even taking away their free streaming services [latimes.com] to keep people on DirecTV from seeing the Daily Show/Colbert.

DirecTV gave numbers, 30% increase where as Viacom said "pennies a day". Pennies a day add up to dollars a week and hundreds a year.

DirecTV also pointed out 8 of the 26 Viacom channels going away were HD versions of the same channel, so it is double counting. I don't see Viacom countering these arguments.

In a time when people are being asked to do more for frozen wages or even pay cuts, why does Viacom deserve a raise? If they were cutting commercials sure. Giving me more value for my money, that's great. As it stands they are asking for more just to see if they can get it.
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