Negotiations between U.S. TV giant DirecTV & Viacom have come to an end. The result of the two sides not able to secure a deal to carry Viacom’s channels has resulted in all of 22 of them to be pulled from the air.
Viacom’s channels which include MTV & Spike TV are no longer available to the many DirecTV subscribers. With Bellator Fighting Championships currently on MTV2 & moving to Spike TV in 2013 this drop in available viewers can not be good news for the rising promotion.
One of the keys to the negotiants was Viacom’s request for a 30% rate increase that would amount to over $1 billion dollars. Since Viacom has so many channels under their brand they can bundle all of their channels into the negotiations. DirecTV responded publicly by saying,
“You should be able to decide which Viacom channels you want and which you don’t.”
Viacom is claiming that DirecTV subscribers have made Viacom the most watched programmer and account for 20% of its total viewing. They also claim that they are only paid for 5% of the viewing and the increase in the rate is justified.
Since Bellator is majority owned by Viacom they will be on Spike TV as planned in 2013. They can not move to another network like the UFC did when they moved their programming to the FOX network & its cable affiliates.
There are still several months before Bellator makes the move to Spike TV so a deal is still possible. With Viacom so deeply invested with the MMA promotion it would seem in their best interests to make sure a deal is done.
In all walks of life we have witnessed two side deep into negotiations dig their heels in to put on a good face. Eventually a deal is made once the greater good is realized. Let us hope that happens in this case for the sake of the promotion & the fans who want to watch Bellator.
Written by Mike McPhee
Follow me on Twitter @ManCaveMMA