“No Deal In Sight” To End Viacom Blackout On DirecTV

It’s been a week since DirecTV and Viacom’s contract dispute resulted in nearly 20 million satellite customers staring at blank screens instead of MTV, Comedy Central, Vh1, Nickelodeon and several other Viacom-owned stations. Now the broadcaster is telling viewers not to get their hopes up for a quick resolution.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Viacom claims that it “made a significant and comprehensive compromise proposal” last week that would have had all the channels restored by Friday morning. It says there have been further proposals made — the latest was sent over to DirecTV last night — but… “Unfortunately, DIRECTV has moved backwards significantly and created more obstacles to reaching an agreement.”

“[I]t’s now clear that they have no intention of working with us to expedite a resolution and return our 26 networks to DIRECTV subscribers,” the company writes.

However, Viacom says it will continue to work toward a resolution.

DirecTV has claimed that Viacom is asking for a $1 billion price increase on its bundle of channels, which includes some of the highest-rated cable networks but also several niche channels.

Last week, after the two parties were unable to agree to a new contract — or extend the one they’ve had for seven years — DirecTV pulled 26 Viacom-owned channels from its offerings and replaced them with a loop of CEO Michael White explaining the situation.

As the blackout continues, DirecTV has been offering discounts to customers angry about the blackout. It has also made eight Encore movie channels free through the end of July.