Viacom says talks with DirecTV have broken down

7:44 PM, Jul 18, 2012   |    comments
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(WXIA) - According to a Wednesday afternoon report from the Los Angeles Times, a top executive at Viacom said talks with DirecTV over a new rebroadcast agreement have broken down.

Viacom pulled 17 channels off of satellite broadcaster DirecTV on July 10, which left DirecTV's 20 million subscribers without their fix of programming like Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Nickelodeon's Spongebob Squarepants.

RELATED | Viacom channels are off DirecTV systems

The Times article quoted Viacom's executive vice president of content distribution, Denise Denson, who said, "I really don't see any end in sight, truthfully."

Denson said in the Times piece that DirecTV has scoffed at several offers by Viacom to return to the negotiation table.

"They have not ever engaged in negotiations," Denson said in the article.

Ratings for Viacom's slate of networks have dropped since they were removed from DirecTV.

DirecTV says the deal that Viacom wants is an increase of more than $1 billion over its prior agreement. Denson disagrees, telling the Times the dollar figure is "significantly less than that."

The channels that have been pulled include Spike, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, BET, Comedy Central and Logo.

After the channels were removed from DirecTV, the satellite giant started airing promos telling consumers its side of the story, along with posting web addresses where viewers could find episodes Viacom programming like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and Spongebob Squarepants for free online. In response, Viacom pulled the web streams of the programs off line.

According to an Associated Press report early Wednesday, Viacom had decided to ease that blockade, allowing new episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report be shown online. Other shows, including new episodes of MTV's Teen Mom continue to be blocked, however.

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