Viacom and AT & T remain in cart negotiations but have failed to reach an agreement before the expiry of their current transport contract at midnight on the east coast. Signals from 23 Viacom networks have not yet darkened over DirecTV and U-Verse, an outsourced part of the pay-TV universe of 24.5 million households, but unless a new deal can be put in place.
The high-test dispute follows the subsequent step last week of AT & T to eliminate some Viacom channels as well as offers from Discovery, A + E Networks and AMC Networks, from its skinny-bundle service, DirecTV Now. Cut those networks from the newly configured basic tier of DirecTV Now it was widely interpreted as an assessment of Viacom's viability in the rapidly evolving TV ecosystem. While the company has once controlled some of the most valuable media industry features, the disruption of digital content and streaming has gone on many networks across the plate. Programmers like Viacom, whose line images are missing, must see live tickets as sports or news, find themselves with less complaint in carriage lectures.
Combating these headwinds, Viacom's CEO Bob Bakish has been working diligently since getting the top job in December 201[ads1]6 to repair the distribution conditions that had worsened during his predecessor, Philippe Dauman. He has successfully renewed Charter, Altice and other major operators, and Viacom has not had a blackout since 2014. The value of AT & T's fees and advertising is estimated at $ 2 billion by Wall Street analysts.
Above the aisle of AT & T, the mission is to cut costs as the company appears to pay off debt related to its 81 billion US purchase of Time Warner. DirecTV is still the US satellite operator No. 1, but continues to lose subscribers, in line with industry headlines. Its internet-delivered offshoot, DirecTV, now came out of the gate after launch in 2016, but has also recently dropped subscribers. Its reset with two streamlined packages, at $ 50 and $ 60 a month, puts it in a higher bracket than some competitors. The management has warned that subscription losses for DirecTV can now continue in the next quarter or two. But many Wall Street analysts are looking at the upside of shaving programming costs.
"We need to get the content growth in line with what the customer is willing to pay," said AT & T CEO Randall Stephenson during the AT&T fourth quarter earnings ring in January. "And the customer is willing to pay almost no extra money right now. So the content costs must reflect that. We will be very confident when we go through the year to control the cost of content costs. "
Given the high demand on each company's agenda, it was not surprising that the duels statements from each party were particularly pointed. The AT&T Time Warner deal gave Viacom another card to play. In his still unsolved deaths with HBO, Baki's troops have estimated the merger as an unfair, competitive competition element. , Viacom said in a statement earlier this week. AT&T shot back by calling Viacom to a "serial bad actor". The statement claimed that "several of Viacom's channels are no longer popular. Viacom's channels have totally lost about 40% of the audience over the past six years."