DirecTV Gets Retrans Blowback

Will the satellite service cave?

It may have seemed like a good PR move, but DirecTV’s decision to set up a website to take its case in its carriage dispute with Fox Networks directly to the people has blown up in its face.

Of the thousands of comments posted to DirecTV’s “Our Promise to You” site, an overwhelming majority actually express support for Fox. The threat of losing FX appears to be particularly galling. Subscriber “Tim S.” summed up the consensus, writing, “This is some bull shit [sic]. I will go elsewhere if you drop FX. I will not miss Sons of Anarchy.”

Not coincidentally, the dissenters were driven to the site by Kurt Sutter, the executive producer of FX’s Sons of Anarchy. Sutter inserted himself into the debate when he posted to his blog the first draft of a promo that ran before Tuesday night’s episode. “You’re getting fucked over,” he wrote, adding that DirecTV was “greasing your unsuspecting backside.”

With the Nov. 1 blackout date looming, DirecTV wasn’t backing off. But ultimately, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield said, “DirecTV must cave” because it stands to “inflict more damage to [its] business than to Fox.”