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Viacom, DirecTV Carriage Talks Continue While Blackout Looms – Variety

UPDATED : The Viacom and DirecTV executives head this evening for contract negotiations on high-volume treaty renewals for both sides. The talks were still going on after the ET deadline had passed until midnight and the broadcasters were still active on DirecTV.

A team of Viacom executives, led by Tom Gorke, vice vice president and head of sales and business development, has since been parked at DirecTV's headquarters in El Segundo Wednesday. The companies are fighting over a car renewal pact for the 23 cable channels from Viacom.

On Tuesday afternoon, Viacom launched an aggressive PR campaign to warn viewers that Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1

and other channels could already be getting dark Saturday, if the sides can not agree. Viacom promoted a number of stars across all channels to expound companies' arguments in short digital videos distributed through YouTube and others.

Viacom needs to secure a healthy U-verse contract with AT & T's DirecTV, which has over 24.5 million subscribers (including about 24.5 million subscribers) of the country, to provide stability for future revenues to ensure. If DirecTV lowers Viacom's tariffs and the number of channels it carries, Viacom would be hit hard and face similar rival MVPDs like Comcast and Charter. Viacom can not afford to stop this setback in the midst of a turnaround after a long break. DirecTV and streaming bundle DirecTV Now run 17 of the Viacom channels His U-verse sibling carries the full load of 23 (or 24, depending on who counts).

Meanwhile, DirecTV has every incentive to push Viacom forward with a rate adjustment attempt as the satcomaster grapples with a shrinking subscriber base, coupled with AT & T's demand for reliable revenue to shoulder the debt burden of over $ 170 billion last year Year with an increase was the purchase of Time Warner in the amount of 85.4 billion US dollars. DirecTV's performance has slowed since AT & T bought Satcaster 2015 for $ 49 billion.

DirecTV has made some major updates to top programmers over the coming months, including CBS, the Viacom sibling couple under the Redstone umbrella, and the new Disney. There is no doubt that in the Viacom talks, the company wants to send the message that it intends to cut program costs due to greed in the pay-TV market.

DirecTV has an impact on Viacom's nationwide viewer status and trust in an estimated $ 1 billion in licensing revenue each year that Satcaster receives. At the same time, a lengthy blackout of staples such as Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and BET would get subscribers under control and likely accelerate DirecTV's regular quarterly subscriber losses. DirecTV and Viacom went through a nine-day blackout in 2014 in a renewal.

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