DirecTV vs. Viacom: Resolution Not Forthcoming

Premium channel EPIX at the center of the dispute

DirecTV and Viacom are digging in their heels: Both companies say they're not likely to come to an agreement in their carriage conflict any time soon. Viacom issued a resigned-sounding statement on Wednesday afternoon, saying that the standoff could go on "indefinitely." DirecTV told Adweek that the dispute centers on carriage of Viacom's premium channel, EPIX. 

"We made a significant and comprehensive compromise proposal to DirecTV last Thursday that could have resulted in restoring all of our services to DirecTV subscribers by Friday morning," Viacom wrote in an unbylined statement. "We have since made several additional compromise proposals–even as recently as last night–to find a resolution acceptable to DirecTV."

"I really don’t see any end in sight, truthfully," exec vp of content distribution Denise Denson told the Los Angeles Times. The company's website suggests that viewers looking for content from Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV or any of the other 20-plus Viacom channels switch providers.

DirecTV called the statement "totally inaccurate." A spokesman told Adweek that progress was made, but not enough. "[W]e accepted all material terms for those channels including an increase that was more than fair," he said. "However, as part of that offer, Viacom insists that we carry the EPIX channel at an additional cost of more than half a billion dollars."

Viacom probably wouldn't agree with that characterization, either, but that disagreement is why 20 million people aren't getting their weekly dose of Teen Mom.

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