Spongebob, the Colbert Report, Jersey Shore, South Park and a host of missing shows will return to Fountain Valley DirecTV customers soon.
El Segundo-based satellite broadcaster DirecTV and cable programming giant Viacom reached a new long-term agreement early July 20, restoring 17 channels — including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and BET — that DirecTV customers have gone without since July 10.
The terms of the new contract were not revealed, but DirecTV, which had charged that Viacom was demanding a whopping 30 percent fee increase, claimed victory.
"We are very pleased to be able to restore the channels to our customers and thank them for their unprecedented patience and support,'' said Derek Chang, DirecTV executive vice president of Content Strategy and Development.
"It's unfortunate that Viacom took the channels away from customers to try to gain leverage, but in the end, it's clear our customers recognized that tactic for what it was," Chang said.
He added, "The attention surrounding this unnecessary and ill-advised blackout by Viacom has accomplished one key thing: It serves notice to all media companies that bullying TV providers and their customers with blackouts won't get them a better deal."
New York-based Viacom, which saw some of its cable shows lose ratings during the blackout, expressed satisfaction over the new pact.
"Despite the unnecessary drama, we are very pleased with our agreement and are very thankful to have reconnected with our DirecTV viewers," a Viacom statement said.
-- City News Service