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Viacom and DishNetwork Battle On Air Over Contract

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the this-is-just-bizarre dept.

Television 604

An anonymous reader writes "This weekend, Viacom stations began scrolling messages on their cable stations(MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, etc) stating that DishNetwork may soon be removing the channels from its lineup and urging subscribers to call DishNetwork. DishNetwork subscribers(me!) may have begun to see black bars cover the messages and calls to DishNetwork regarding the messages were greeted with a recording telling subscribers to call the President and GM of KCBS. These antics stem from lawsuits here. I, for one, will be switching to DirecTV if they don't get this figured out."

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FAGS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502108)

(the gay kind)

(not first)

Re:FAGS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502152)

They've got gay ones? I've never thought of any cigarette as particularly gay before.

Uh, slow day? (-1, Offtopic)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502115)

And this is relevant because....?

Re:Uh, slow day? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502129)

Because you are a fucking idiot?

Re:Uh, slow day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502278)

I love the camaraderie every slashdotter has for each other

Viacom really needs to watch themselves (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502117)

They currently own two broadcast networks (CBS and UPN), and abuse of their holdings like this to bully a carrier like this will get them in hot water with not only the FCC, but the FTC as well.

Re:Viacom really needs to watch themselves (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502244)

Yes. Because Big media companies are currently under heavy attach from the government.

Thats sarcasm.

Are you blind or just stupid. Large Companies are under absolutely no threat from the government and they know it.

Re:Viacom really needs to watch themselves (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502336)

You forget that this is an election year and that due to corporate scandals and the like, the unwashes masses *want* to see some blood in the water.

Re:Viacom really needs to watch themselves (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502345)

And let's not forget their own investors.

Dish Network holds about 8% of the TV audience. What that means is that there will be an instant drop in the audience by 8% on all of the affected stations.

Viacom does not own any distribution arms other than OTA TV stations. Their entire cable empire stands at risk if they can't make deals with outside distributors. Viacom needs Dish more than Dish needs Viacom.

Re:Viacom really needs to watch themselves (1)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502357)

Dishnetwork needs to watch themselves, because customers are paying for the CBS and UPN channels, and now they won't be getting them... but I doubt Dishnetwork will automagically reduce everyone's monthly bill... and that my friends is called stealing... I can't wait to see how this pans out.

phear my frosty piss! (-1)

Snake_Plisken (666881) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502120)

pwned by a member of the ultra violet catastrophe

The list of channels in play... (5, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502123)

Here's the list of channels that will fall off of Dish Network if there's no deal by 11:59:59 PM ET tonight:

BET
Comedy Central
MTV
MTV2
Nick Games & Sports
Nickelodeon/Nick at Night (Both East and West versions)
Noggin/The N
VH1
VH1 Classic
All CBS O&O stations (listed here) [paramountstations.com] within their local markets. (Those seeing WCBS, KCBS, or WBZ as a distant CBS service outside of their natrual zones will not be affected.)
All UPN O&O stations (listed here) [paramountstations.com] within their local markets. (Those seeing WSBK as a superstation outside of Boston will not be affected.)
KCAL in the Los Angeles area.

Re:The list of channels in play... (3, Informative)

Flabby Boohoo (606425) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502170)

You forgot Spike TV.

Re:The list of channels in play... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502190)

This could really screw with WWE fans. (WWE programming is on SpikeTV and UPN)

Re:The list of channels in play... (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502265)

You forgot Spike TV.

It's true that Viacom owns SpikeTV and its former sister network CMT, but I'm having trouble confirming that they're covered by the contract that currently is in dispute. (The two may be covered by a contract that's a holdover from the days that SpikeTV was The Nashville Network they were owned by a freestanding Nashville-based company.)

I know for sure that Viacom's Showtime and The Movie Channel properties are definitely under other contracts and therefore won't be involved in this situation.

Re:The list of channels in play... (1)

Flabby Boohoo (606425) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502307)

The message comes across that channel, so I would assume that it is.

Re:The list of channels in play... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502180)

So, in short, it's no big deal. Who watches those channels anyway?

Re:The list of channels in play... (4, Informative)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502261)

Who watches those channels anyway?

Well, I for one watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. It's by far the best thing on TV today. I would be seriously pissed right now if I were a Dish Network customer.

There are probably quite a few geeks here on /. that want to be able to keep watching Enterprise--despite its overwhelming suckitude--on UPN, as well.

Re:The list of channels in play... (1)

Flabby Boohoo (606425) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502353)

Actually, the loss of The Dave Chappelle Show would be bigger than the Daily Show.

Re:The list of channels in play... (1)

HFKIRSpyderMonkey (759215) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502200)

As long as SciFi isn't going anywhere, I can still maintain my healthy image of a nerdy hermit who only leaves his house to check the mail.

Re:The list of channels in play... (4, Funny)

mrzaph0d (25646) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502292)

why would you put your computer outside?

Re:The list of channels in play... (5, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502203)

Wow so after they go off the air the average intelligence of the Dish Network subscribers rise 50 points.

Re:The list of channels in play... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502207)

I believe I saw that message on Spike too.

Re:The list of channels in play... (5, Insightful)

the_c0de_man (759235) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502258)

I can live without any of those channels, except it would suck to not have the Daily show. Cartoon Network is really the only cable network that has anything good on anymore. Sealab 2020, Space Ghost, Aquatine Hunger Force, and my personal favorite, Home Movies (if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it).

MTV is such crap. They had an excellent show, Clone High, which they cancelled. As far as I'm concerned, Viacom can screw themselves.

And Comedy Central is just boring most of the time. I can't figure out how Dave Attell earned the title of "Comedian". All he does is just take us around shitty neighborhoods chatting with stupid people. If I wanted to see that, I would watch Cops.

Re:The list of channels in play... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502321)

2021, jackass. 2021.

Re:The list of channels in play... (1, Insightful)

dan_the_heretic (260226) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502305)

So, in other words, nothing worth watching.

Re:The list of channels in play... (1, Offtopic)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502330)

I'm happy with Comcast Cable. I keep all of my channels.

Re:The list of channels in play... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502339)

whoo, for minute there I thought they might cut something I care about.

Buttsecks poll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502125)

[ ] I like to give.
[ ] I like to receive.

Re:Buttsecks poll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502228)

Yes.

Re:Buttsecks poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502310)

You're a super star, yes that's what you are you know it! Come on, VOGUE!

I had the dish (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502136)

But everytime it rained, we lost d'piture. When the dog barked, we lost d'piture. When there was a drive by, we lost d'puture. When the welfare check came, we lost d'piture. When I smack my ho, we lost d'piture. Anyway, we got cable instead.

Re:I had the dish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502204)

You should ax for your money back.

Funny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502230)

Anyone who has Comcast (like me sadly) has seen these ads.

Here in (1, Funny)

j_sp_r (656354) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502137)

Luckly I'm with multikabel, small kabeler in Holland, wich has outstanding TV services(not to say cable). Missing SpongeBob would be a real pain :-)

Bah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502138)

I've got cable and I still have to watch those lame messages scroll by too. Just another reason to whip out my Firefly DVDs again...

corporate siblings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502139)

DishNetwork == DirecTV == NewsCorp?
or am I wrong about this?

I have neither cable nor sattelite, so I don't really care to RTFA.

Re:corporate siblings (3, Informative)

dcgaber (473400) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502215)

You are wrong. DirecTV is owned by Hughes (GM) and is being bought out by Murdoch (who owns NewsCorp). DishNetwork wanted to purchase DTV but the FCC (or pehaps DOJ or both) put the kibosh on that, as there would then only be 1 sat provider. Not sure I like Murdoch better owning my prefered form of TV delivery, but oh well.

Re:corporate siblings (1)

bandy (99800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502216)

You're wrong. Dish isn't affiliated with DirecTV. They tendered an offer for them but the Feds 86'ed the deal.

Thank heaven for small mercies.... (1)

kristeh1337 (759934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502266)

I might be subject to murdoch's propaganda, but at least I'm not gonna lose my MTV2. God bless Murdoch's UK monopoly...

sounds familiar (5, Interesting)

bandy (99800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502144)

This sounds familiar to the situation where the owners of KRON [tv] in San Francisco wanted them to air a station of theirs from LA, and withheld broadcast rights to KRON until they caved.

We did without NBC for six months, Charlie [Dish] never caved. NBC moved itself to a San Jose station and we get NBC again.

Viacom probably wants Dish to carry additional channels or drop competing channels from their line-up.

Re:sounds familiar (2, Insightful)

ballyn (324451) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502298)

Last I heard, Viacom wants Dish to carry Nickelodeon's GAS channel or some such... and Dish said no, so Viacom said you can't carry anything then unless you pay us more money. So then Dish ran crying monopoly and... now I will have no CBS or UPN since I get the Boston feeds. I don't have any big connection to Dish except my hardware investment, but I can't blame Dish for the problem (since I tend to dislike monopolies myself). Changing to DTV seems like caving to Viacom's corporate muscle...

USA Foreign policy is getting crazy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502146)

what IS going on with the USA these days:

We have the USA involved all over the place...:
- Restructuring in Iraq
- Afghanistani and Pakistani action
- Overthrowing Venezualan government
- Fiddling about in Argentina
- Mercenaries in Zimbabwe
- Deals with Libya
- Ongoing Israeli Support ...I am sure I have missed some out in Central America...What is going on?

Re:USA Foreign policy is getting crazy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502188)

Don't forget kidnapping Haitian President Aristide.

Overthrowing Venezuelan strongman (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502245)

"Overthrowing Venezualan government"

Didn't work. Venezuela is still ruled by a fascist dictator.

File everything in the Americas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502272)

Under the Monroe Doctrine. It's been part of the country's foreign for nearly 200 years. Libya wants to come clean to get back into the world, good for them. Ongoing Israeli support? We "support" lots of countries, even some of our "enemies." We provide North Korea with the most aid of any nation.

Support Israel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502323)

There is nothing wrong with supporting Israel, unless you happen to hate Jews out of principle. And that is the main reason for opposition to Israel.

Very Annoying (3, Interesting)

britrock (684244) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502147)

I'm a directv subscriber, and I'm seeing these messages as well. It scared the hell out of my wife yesterday. She thought it applied to us, and was really mad.

These kind of games are very annoying. Honestly, even if dish network did drop the channels, how long do you think it would last? They would either bring them back or loose a lot of customers.

Re:Very Annoying (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502177)

You want to talk about annoying? I'm a Comcast subscriber. I don't even own a dish and I'm seeing these fucking messages.

Re:Very Annoying (3, Funny)

britrock (684244) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502250)

You want to talk about annoying? I'm a Comcast subscriber.
Yeah, I can see how that would be really annoying.

I don't even own a dish and I'm seeing these fucking messages.
So? How is that any different than me? I don't have Dish Network either. Is it some how less annoying because I have a dish on my roof?

Re:Very Annoying (0, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502285)

Wow perhaps she should watch a little less TV. If the idea of loosing TV stations fear and anger. Then you should watch a little less TV. Yea it will be the shame to loose those channels that excel in putting advertisements every 3 minutes.

Re:Very Annoying (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502329)

A couple of years ago, Comcast sent a brochure to RCN subscribers titled "Welcome to your new cable company!" that was obviously designed to trick people into thinking their provider had already changed. Briefly fooled me, as I'd undergone a forced provider switch a few months before.

It's incredibly obnoxious, and only encouraged me to stay away from Comcast as long as I can. (Within limits -- if they buy Disney, I'm certainly not giving up ESPN2 going into the NHL playoffs.)

I was wondering what that was about.. (5, Interesting)

falzbro (468756) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502150)

I'm a Dish subscriber. I saw this message begin to scroll by several times over the weekend, and wondered what the hell was up.

Each time, a few words in, a black bar appeared across the screen to block it out.

This explains a lot. How childish.

Re:I was wondering what that was about.. (1)

KGIS (307368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502288)

I am a cable subscriber in Canada and I don't even think that we could get the satellite service that is in question and we still saw the messages. The first time it was amusing but after that it got downright annoying. I can't imagine who would've thought this was a good idea in the first place.

Re:I was wondering what that was about.. (3, Informative)

e9th (652576) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502294)

At least they tried to black it out. Viacom started moving their crawl around the screen, and the EchoStar folks blew it several times. Childishness all around.

Go wired (-1, Offtopic)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502151)

All the more reason not to go wireless.

Re:Go wired (0)

elwell642 (754833) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502334)

Or we could just read more books...

But look! DishNetwork is putting little pieces of electrical tape over the publisher's names...

I consider this SPAM. (0)

93,000 (150453) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502153)

Saw the scrolling message. Doesn't affect me since I am not a customer of said services.

They need to save their spats for the negotiating table instead of smearing their propaganda-laden feces all over my screen.

And as usual the customer gets screwed... (3, Insightful)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502157)

...two big companies fighting and suing, and who gets screwed? The customers. They're the ones losing the channels and getting black bars on their screens...

And who wins? The lawyers, of course.

DirecTV rules (-1, Offtopic)

DR SoB (749180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502158)

Who would ever subscribe to Dishnet? DirecTV rules! Seriously, I've seen both, and DirecTV won hands down! I noticed the bars at the bottom of the screen scolling that message and wonder, is this the END of Dish? Good old Charlie's going to have a hard time competing at all with Dave if they lose some of their BEST channels!

Re:DirecTV rules (4, Insightful)

falzbro (468756) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502238)

Who would ever subscribe to Dishnet? DirecTV rules! Seriously, I've seen both, and DirecTV won hands down!

Those of us who want a package for $25.

What I read this as: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502267)

troll troll TROLL troll TROLL troll troll. Troll TROLL troll? troll TROLL!

Re:What I read this as: (-1, Offtopic)

DR SoB (749180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502319)

goat GOAT goat goat GOAT GOAT goat Goat. I just read a story about you from Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=scie nceNews&storyID=4514020

Re:DirecTV rules (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502309)

DirectTV doesn't have TVJapan [tvjapan.net] .

Re:DirecTV rules (4, Insightful)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502327)

DirecTV rules!

Their content is _arguably_ better (especially when it comes to HD), but the company is no better than the RIAA. Remember the smart card lawsuits [cbsnews.com] ? Why on earth would you willingly do business with a company like this?

Re:DirecTV rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502362)

Let's see...why sub to DishNetwork?
My wife like The Style Channel
My mother in law like the Russian channels
My neighbor likes Brazilian channels
My co-worker likes Itallian channels
My cousin likes their porn channels
I like the Football (Soccer to the yanks)

Effective? (2, Insightful)

gid13 (620803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502160)

One wonders whether these calls for help actually get people to call in, and how many people have to call for the company to want to keep a show. I'd imagine some people see that and say "sweet merciful crap, first commercials, and now a telethon in between". Guess it's a good thing I'm too much of an internet junkie to care about TV anymore. :)

As a Direct TV Viewer... (5, Insightful)

403Forbidden (610018) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502161)

I still get those damn scrolling messages. Haven't looked to see if they covered them up with anything, but it's quite a freaking shame to have MY PAID FOR channels have a scroll-bar at the bottom because of a scuffle with an entirely different company.

The message itself was inflamitory, saying how customers should call Dish to keep the channels that "they [the consumer] paid for!" when that doesn't describe the scope of the suit in the least...

Re:As a Direct TV Viewer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502269)

You should call DirecTV and complain. Tell them you don't want black bars showing up on channels "YOU [the CONSUMER] paid for!". When you call them make sure you dial EXTENSION 744 or 745 for help!

Wasn't just Dish Network (5, Interesting)

danuary (748394) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502162)

Although the ads were -directed- at DishNetwork viewers they were visible on other networks. I saw the "Attention Dish Network Subscribers" message when watching Comedy Central over the weekend -- and I have Time Warner Cable in NYC. I'm most certainly not who they were looking to reach.

Re:Wasn't just Dish Network (1)

swordboy (472941) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502351)

The scroll bars were put there by ViaCom in order to coerce DishNetwork customers into pressuring the company into signing a deal. Dishnetwork is the only company that wants to fight for the customer's rights (as in the lowest price TV available) so this is to be expected.

[tin foil hat]

I wouldn't be surprised if DirecTV is in cahoots with Viacom simply for the sake of raising prices. Dishnetwork is much cheaper than anything else and this would be a good way to get rid of that.

[/tin foil hat]

Dish will get sued and lose (3, Interesting)

Mente (219525) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502164)

If I had to guess, I would say that Dish is going to get sued for the black bar. I don't think they are entitled to alter the broadcast, but only to re-broadcast.

Re:Dish will get sued and lose (1)

Original Buddha (673223) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502262)

I was quite annoyed with the black bars too but my view is that if Viacom has a gripe with it they should pay for commercial time instead of scrolling their complaints every 10 minutes.

OT - Yahoo News (-1, Offtopic)

Belisarivs (526071) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502168)

Anyone else notice that whenever a popular site links to a Yahoo News story, Yahoo News hits the floor for several hours?

Censorship? (1)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502169)

I wouldn't have really had an opinion - if they hadn't tried to hide the messages being sent on those channels. Now I'm going to have to side with Viacom (not that I am a supporter of Viacom in any way shape or form.)

Crawl being seen on all other providers too (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502171)

The annoying crawls are not just limited to Dish Network. Viacom has no way to force a crawl onto only Dish Network feeds of their networks, so they have to put the crawls onto the network's backhaul feeds and therefore everybody sees them.

I've been told that DirecTV's call centers have also been geting calls from their own consumers who don't read the whole ticker and are wondering if they're at risk too. (DirecTV's contracts are not lapsing right now, only Dish's.)

Too bad it is not ABC or UPN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502175)

Too bad it is CBS, which actually has some shows worth watching. I'd rather it happened to "is that still around?" networks like UPN and ABC.

Whats with annoying customers? (4, Insightful)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502184)

First we have SCO suing customers (and another company did too last year) and now crap like this being pulled with companies using customers as pawns in their power games between each other.

Maybe companies are forgetting one thing and one essential thing. No matter how much money they have or how many years theyve been around and on top they got where they are by being a service to their customers

It sounds like neither of these companies are doing that any more. It's the death throes of business when distraction overcomes service.

nude mac desktop gallery [67.160.223.119]

Saw it this weekend (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502192)

I saw the text start to scroll (was watching CSI on Spike), and the next time it started, black bars covered the text. At the time, I didn't think anything of it.

Seems rather childish of both companies, if the headline is indeed accurate. Perhaps there's more to this though? Hmmm...

The message was... (5, Interesting)

Ayandia (630042) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502210)

The message was something like this:

DishNetwork will stop offering BET, MTV, Nick at Night, Comedy Central...and many others. DishNetwork subscribers, call DishNetwork and tell them you want to keep the channels you paid for.

It seemed to me like they were really saying:

DishNetwork subscribers, please call DishNetwork and tie up their support lines with furious indignance while we spread disinformation!

But the message had a complete lack of WHY those channels were going away, if at all. Anyone have some insight?

Customers have choices... (5, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502213)

Dish Network is trying to hold the line on the wholesale price of content. DirecTV, by comparison, just raised prices for their main content packages.

So, if you want to get your content from the low-price supplier, you want to be with Dish Network and put up with these occasional squabbles. If you want a distributor that has a history of bending over whenever the prices go up, you go to DirecTV or your local cable company. Competition in a marketplace is good that way...

Childish. (4, Funny)

Mori Chu (737710) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502217)

I saw these messages the other day. I found it a little annoying. I'm on Comcast cable, and I have nothing to do with this little squabble, yet I have to watch these childish messages scroll across my screen on several channels. It reminds me of what I have heard about ESPN consistently charging a fortune to the cable and dish companies for the privilege of carrying their channel. At least ESPN doesn't have Dick Vitale jump out at me during a broadcast saying, "Call your satellite operator and keep us on your channel lineup, baby!"

not a Dish fan, but... (5, Insightful)

wonderdog (80639) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502221)

I've been a DishNet sub for 8 yrs now. To say I'm unhappy with the quality of their products would be an understatement. I'm ready to jump ship to DTV as soon as the HD DirecTiVo ships.

BUT, Viacom is the evil party here IMO. They're holding Dish and all of its customers hostage until Dish accepts unreasonable contract terms. I for one, don't want higher TV monthly charges just because Viacom forces Dish to carry some obscure channels that the vast majority of subs will never watch.

A la carte pricing would address this, but that's a whole nuther discussion.

Re:not a Dish fan, but... (1)

Richard N. Bush (759628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502283)

Dish... DirectTV... Six in one, half a dozen in the other. If they lost these channels I'd be annoyed, but I'm way too addicted to my DishPlayer721 to consider leaving them. I'm also in the HD boat, and want a 921 when the dust settles on it a little bit.

whos really is at fault? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502229)

you still have to wonder whos really is at fault. I've heard some estimates that Viacom was going up 50% in some cases in price. And we all know from cable that this is why our prices go up. Also the fact that they were making must carry channels (to have CBS you must also carry the Nicktoons channel) is also something to wonder about as well.

Not to meantion viacom trying to make it an national issue as well at the last minute. Im not saying that im sideing on echostar, but it does seem shady on both ends.

Comedy Central is the only reason I have dish (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502233)

If not, I'll go back to basic cable (yes, evil comcast) and forego the additional $30-$40 of monthly fees. That being said, it looks like Echostar is getting the squeeze from Viacom... I can't believe that Viacom is getting away with this, it seems like a petty power play.

Not just over Viacom or Dish... (1)

deltwalrus (234362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502248)

These messages come across on DirecTV, as well. Apparently, they are smearing each other over everyone's airwaves. Personally, I don't care about Viacom's packages, so leave me alone!

ABC pulled this crap a few years ago.... (3, Interesting)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502249)

ABC pulled this crap a few years ago with a cable operator, and the public (and FCC) backlash was to say the least, massive!

I'd have thought that with all the crap their Infinity radio division is having with the FCC, not to mention the Janet Jackson flap they'd be doing their best to stay off the radar screen!

I don't know whether these big companies are arrogant or stupid, but it sure illustrates why media monopolies are bad for the consumer.

what crap. (1)

Simple-Simmian (710342) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502257)

It's not an issue. So what if I can't get local TV on satelite. I can always put an antenna up or god forbid do without. Geeze how lame.

This isn't just local TV... (1)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502303)

This isn't just local TV. CBS owns a bunch of cable/satellite only networks that would alos be affected. This will wind up being a PR nightmare for CBS. Just watch....

TV programs are pathetic, so are TV companies (-1, Offtopic)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502273)

I, for one, will be switching to DirecTV if they don't get this figured out.

I, for one, will be sticking to good old books. At least book writers and editors don't throw their petty commercial wars at me through their products, and even if they did, I could just tear off the page.

Books are so exciting : you get to imagine the scenes yourself, you can re-read them whenever you want wherever your want, they burn no electrical power (save for the light at night), the information medium has been the same for thousands of years, is reliable, isn't likely to change soon, unlike Betamax/VHS/Videodisc/DVD, and the whole reading home-theater installation (called a "bookshelf") is dirt cheap. I'm so glad I haven't had a TV for 10 years, I really feel less like a passive consumer drone...

its a bloody shame (5, Interesting)

dj245 (732906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502280)

Its a bloody shame that this is happening. I've found that the DirectTV box is buggy, or full of nasty "features". My carefully pruned favorites lists will have channels added to it at random times. I am often surprised to find that my 30-channel DirectTV favorites list has grown overnight to a 50-channel list with the inclusion of all the DTV informational channels and most of the QVC and shopping type channels. Does anyone elses box do this? I'd like to hope its a coincidental bug, but I'm the ever cynic, so I'm afraid its a very shameful "feature".

Forbes writeup (5, Informative)

danuary (748394) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502282)

Substantially better writeup of the issues involved here [forbes.com] .

I work there.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502287)

I actually work For MTV Networks,

I'm not happy about this either, but from I was told by management, Dish wants to pick and choose what they want to air, instead of taking packages. (ie they want MTV MTV2, Nick, and Comedy central but not Spike and cmt, Im not sure if the exact grouping though...) and Viacoms stance is its a package, they want some they take them all. This has started a pissing contest.

Over the weekend We started moving the location of the crawl in order for it to be seen despite the black bar.

not Bush's fault, but sure is bad timing for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8502322)

With all these CEO's of large companies acting like a bunch of spoiled children, I'm sure the media will paint this as big business greed screwing the consumer. Which may mean Bush will get the blame for it. Considering the number of high profile cases against the executives of large corporations, it paints a picture of big business gone wild and an administration that has done very little to curtail questionable behavior. I haven't kept score, but with the way th economy is and the current crop of cases, Bush needs to push the judges to clamp down on these CEO's and make an example of them. I doubt it would happen, but feels like party affiliation aside, people see big business as getting out of hand.

Bring on the 10,000 point starfield !! (3, Funny)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502347)

It doesn't surprise me that one TV company is flaming another with scrolling messages. What does surprise me is the fact that a bunch of 80's demo coders managed to get these jobs in the first place.

Why are we even seeing this battle? (3, Interesting)

PotatoHead (12771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502358)

All you folks paying for some sort of Dish based access feel like cattle now?

Boy I sure do. If anything needs a bit of regulation, this industry does. People should not have to wonder if they can watch their paid for programming or not depending on the whims of some fat ass execs.

Do you think Dish will compensate their customer base? Do they even care about their customer base?

Too many programming choices are an either or bundle situation. People are stuck paying high rates in return for few real choices about their programming.

Dish and Direct TV both should be forced to carry programming on a RAND basis. Their customers should be able to choose what they want with a finer grained degree than they do now.

The bundled programming does not save any of us a dime because the 30 percent of good channels are spread throughout the bundles. This forces people to just pay for all the crap at once, rather than be able to pick 'n choose.

We are seeing this because there is no real check on the power these distributors have over both their customer base and those who seek to distribute programming.

Viacom is going to lose on this one because Dish holds most all the cards. People are going to wonder what happened. Dish will make sure and tell them their version first.

DirecTV is not an option... (1)

xp_fetchbeer (599818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502359)

for me. I hope they work this out...I want to switch from cable, but not at the expense of CBS and Viacom. I'd rather give all my money to the cable company than give a cent of it to Rupert Murdoch. When is DirecTV going to debut the Bill O'Reilly channel?

Spam Spam Spam Spam....Spamity Spam! (1)

XaosTX (723612) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502360)

Now we have to put up with spam on TV as well!

Media Overlords (1)

vthokiestm (691839) | more than 10 years ago | (#8502368)

I for one welcome our new Viacom overlords!
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