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

Mike White

Does DirecTV 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 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:

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