I'm not going to try to explain things myself as I am just one of the many Directv customers who have been impacted by what Viacom has done, so here is the website you may check for some of the details: http://www.directvpromise.com/#1.
News reports are rolling in now about the dispute. So far, Cox Communications supports Directv's decision to stand its ground.
Here's the thing though. It's one thing that they have screwed up the customers of Directv who PAY for the Viacom channels. Directv is crediting some of the customers, has given Encore movie channels to customers for the rest of July (there are a few decent films worth seeing on there).
Thing is that a CNN blog post asserts that calling Directv as a result of what Viacom has caused results in free stuff. YET in the post, the writer acknowledged that none of the information could be verified. Wow! Smooth CNN, I hope you do not have membership with the Society of Professional Journalists because that is an obvious violation of the code of ethics.
Viacom wants to deceive people into believing that Directv is at fault. Viacom is trying to strongarm Directv customers to pay more for the same channels with the same programs that everyone else has, most of which have shows that no longer appeal to the majority of the people. EXCEPT children.
Go into your local Target, Wal-mart, Toys R Us or any other store. Look at how much presence Nickelodeon has in the electronic/media section, the toy department, the grocery department, the clothing department, and well, just apart every department. Then if you decide that what Viacom is doing is wrong, boycott by not buying anything put out by any of its companies. (http://www.viacom.com/ourbrands/Pages/default.aspx)
Viacom lacks class. They want to blame Directv for their greed. Directv finds their demands to be unreasonable. A representative stated to me on the phone that they know of no business that raises their contract 30 percent from one year to the next. I said, "Well, insurance companies." He said, "Oh, well you just proved me wrong. But this isn't a life or death service either." TRUE THAT!
Directv has been stepping up their game since the channels got yanked (and the representatives have repeatedly explained that they DID ask Viacom to allow customers to continue to have access to their channels while the negotiations were going on; well, we know what happened if we have DTV). For some customers, this meant issuing 5 dollar per month credits for as little as two months.
I found out our account qualifies for free HD receiver upgrade. We're looking into DVR service. Will be calling tomorrow probably to find out more information before making the plunge. We want to add Hallmark Movie Channel. Personally, the main impact this bully tactic of Viacom's has in my household is if House of Anubis returns with another season next year. Other than that, we can live without the channels. But I do have cousins who would be DEVASTATED. They are the adopted fraternal twins of my cousin. They love Nickelodeon. They are in elementary school. One girl and one boy. So not only do they have the consumer power of children, but they also have the gender pull since the market likes to distinguish between the genders.
Directv has been posting frequent updates on their Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/directv Viacom, on the other hand? http://www.facebook.com/Viacom Lacks class. July 11, they posted a picture of Spongebob Squarepants that was a direct jab at Directv and DTV customers.
The thing is when it was just pulling the channels from DTV customers, it was one company, but then Viacom pulled full episodes from their sites. Who's to blame for that? People who don't own televisions sometimes watch programs online. Another huge marketing influence.
News reports about the dispute? https://www.google.com/webhp?source=search_app#q=viacom&hl=en&prmd=imvnsuz&source=univ&tbm=nws&tbo=u&sa=X&psj=1&ei=j5H_T_j6D5Oo8gTB_PmrCA&ved=0CBYQqAI&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=83f80cfbb2267061&biw=1024&bih=651 The reports are varying, but many have the tone of scathing for Viacom.
If you're a fellow customer, boycott. Spread the word. Eventually, it will trickle down to where it hurts - Viacom's wallets. Start now with not buying any foods or school supplies that feature the beloved characters of children who are avid Nickelodeon fans. Another place consumers can cause them pain for their behavior: Theaters. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/release.php Not that it would be too hard considering looking at the list of films they have vested interest in may be as stinky in the downward quality turn as their programming on their channels.
Viacom also would have customers believe that switching would help. I contacted Charter Cable (got runaround and still have not had all my questions answered). I contacted Dish. Even though they have Viacom channels for now, what they cannot guarantee is for how long and they will not divulge how much longer their Viacom contract is. But Directv is standing ground not only for its customers but also for those who will face this situation next year or any year after.
Being that I am one of the customers who has been caught in the middle of this battle where I should never have had to be dragged into I cannot say much more and for that I apologize. That is why I gave a general link for the news reports. Since I have personal interest in this situation on several counts, I cannot give the most unbiased report.
Boycott. Let your children be your guide.