DirecTV has received a show of support from an unusual source in its feud with Viacom over a new deal to carry the media giant’s cable channels including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
Cox Communications Inc., the nation’s fifth-largest cable operator with almost 5 million subscribers and a competitor to DirecTV, says the satellite broadcaster is right to fight Viacom’s push to raise the price tag to carry its networks.
In a statement, Bob Wilson, a senior vice president of Cox Communications, said the fight is indicative of bigger market forces at work that need to be addressed.
“This is a reflection of an unbalanced multichannel video business model that has two major effects: continued significant increases in the cost of programming that are the main driver of rising cable and satellite TV service bills, and wide disparities between what large and small distributors pay for programming, resulting in similar disparities in what respective customers pay for service,” Wilson said in a statement.
Often when a distributor is dueling with a programmer leading to channels being dropped, a rival distributor will try to use it as an opportunity to snag frustrated subscribers. Cox does not appear interested in going down that road.
Viacom’s cable networks including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central have been off of DirecTV since Tuesday night. The two sides are trying to negotiate a new deal but are haggling over price.