Viacom and DirecTV have settled their dispute over transmission fees, ending a nine-day period in which channels like Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET were blacked out on the satellite service.
The new deal runs for seven years, and financial terms weren’t disclosed. As of this post, Viacom’s channels were all restored on DirecTV, meaning viewers can now watch “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “The Daily Show” and “Awkward.”
The two companies were fighting over an increase in the fees Viacom charges satellite and cable providers to carry its programming and engaged in a public relations fight over who was in the wrong. DirecTV claimed Viacom wanted a 30 percent increase in fees, while Viacom said it was only looking for a deal in line with other providers. A source tells the Wall Street Journal the new deal contains fee increases, but not quite as high as Viacom initially wanted.
Both companies were hurt during the blackout, with DirecTV losing subscribers and Viacom’s channels suffering significant ratings declines. DirecTV has about 20 million subscribers.
Meanwhile, a separate dispute between AMC Networks and another satellite service, DISH Network, drags on. DISH, which has about 14 million subscribers, stopped carrying AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE on July 1.