Blog Post

DirecTV CEO: “Viacom is forcing this bundle on you, not us”

Does DirecTV (s DTV) CEO Mike White really support a TV distribution model in which consumers get to make a la carte choices on the channels they receive?

With DirecTV’s 20 million U.S. subscribers blacked out from Viacom’s (s VIAB) 26 channels since Wednesday morning, the satellite carrier has been repeatedly running a one-minute, 23-second commercial spot in which White pleads his company’s position in this ongoing carriage dispute.

White gets out all of the expected agenda points: it was Viacom’s decision to pull the channels; the media conglomerate wants to increase rates by 30 percent; sit tight and don’t call Dish Network because, “rest assured, this will be resolved.”

Also read: Fighting DirecTV, Viacom takes down its shows for everyone

Along the way, however, White seems to undermine the entire pay TV multi-channel bundling model.

“At the very least, we think Viacom should be willing to give your family the choice to pay for only those channels you watch,” he says.

Of course, our guess here is that White’s really taking a shot at Viacom for leveraging the strength of channels like Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central to force DirecTV to also pick up lesser viewed networks like Palladia, Logo and Tr3s … or maybe he really does envision a new paradigm of unbundled, a la carte cable TV programming. (An email to DirecTV press reps seeking clarification hasn’t been returned yet.)

Here’s the video:

12 Responses to “DirecTV CEO: “Viacom is forcing this bundle on you, not us””

  1. Nikato Muirhead

    Dish Network’s Charlie Ergen has been pushing congress and the FCC for a-la-carte programming for years. Sadly, lobbying by the cable companies has prevented this from coming. What Cable fails to realize is that TV us changing. Like it or not, TV, is becoming an a-la-carte model. They need to stop fighting it and join the party.

  2. I have always said : I’ll PAY FOR WHAT I WANT TO WATCH……Today it would would work like this if I had my way: Lets say they would give us access TO 100 channels.Of the 100 I only watch 20 channels, my bill would be $20.00 !! That is $1.00 for each channel that I always watch !! Then Pay per view would always be an extra option of course. Compare that to the $75.00 I pay today…….Twenty years ago we had about 25 channels for $8.25 a month. You read that right eight dollars and twenty five cents !! And they didn’t go broke !!——– Ray

  3. bitethe3rdrail

    In the U.S. the are on average 3 televisions per home with the average watch time 8 hours per day. Seriously people… 8 hours per day, 1/3 of your life wasted on the idiot box? My dad is old and complains about the price of gas, I try an explain to him that driving is a luxury and if you want this luxury you will have to pay. For many years TV was “free” well the 3 major networks with one public access channel anyway… and now you have options. You people piss and moan about NOTHING! You have two choices in this situation 1) Stop watching televison or 2) STFU and bite the bullet! EFFIN SHEEPLE!

    • Agree 100%. Dump them. Get a TiVo, an OTA antenna and get the rest of the shows you watch via streaming or DVD blu-ray. Change will not come until Customers wake up and cancel their service. You could also read a book. There is more to life than cable/dish.

    • KimaDog

      The best thing that could happen to these monsters is customers dropping their service. Cut the cord or cancel the dish. Only then will the paradigm shift towards ala carte. Get a TiVo and an OTA antenna then supplement your programming from the internet/streaming/netflix/etc.

  4. Karen Conduff

    “Ignore their SCARE TACTICS.”! Wake that idiot up!!!! It looks to me like they made good on their promise! I guess that idiot doesn’t watch DIRECT TV!!! He is probably subscribed to DISH!!!! LMAO!!!!

  5. Karen Conduff

    This is more of this country’s corporate B.S. between rich corporations; who are trying to keep/gain money.

    As always, we; the OTHERS, have to keep paying and get screwed out of their money!!!

    While this goes on, WE are expected to continue to pay FOR WHAT WE ARE NOT GETTING as a result of this!!! WE are paying for channels which we are no longer getting!!! This is BULL S**T and thievery!!!!

    We ARE NOT going to let this happen in our home!!!! This Monday, our package is going to be dropped all the way down to the minimum, all extra services, our insurance and any other possible expenses paid to these idiots is will be dropped!!! It will stay this way for the short time our contract remains. That is when they can go to hell!!! We will go to DISH!!!!

  6. Steve Noble

    I think the point being made here is that as consumers we are forced to buy a lot of extra channels to get the one we want. Now that the CEO of DirecTV has been clear about how he feels, we as consumers should have no issue getting the channels we want for the price we want rather than having to take 200 channels to get the 5 we are looking for.

  7. MaxMyBucks

    In all this, ho is really on the consumers side? No one in his sane mind will accept a 30% increase in prices for not even watching the unwatchable drivel that comes along with the “bundle”, when the only channels the consumer is interested in are Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.

  8. Pixelm

    Of course not. Directv pays less per channel by agreeing to bundle- and would otherwise pay more per channel. This is just a way to claim to be pro consumer by offering to pay less to one of its largest suppliers of programming. But of course if he pays less he would keep that as profit – not share with consumers.