DirecTV issued the following statement:
Viacom has spent the day trying to convince the public that DIRECTV is willingly removing channels like MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land and Spike from our customers’ homes tonight at midnight 9:00pm PST /12:00am EST. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Here’s a little information to help you make an informed decision for yourself.
DIRECTV is not willingly removing MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Spike or any other channels even though Viacom began telling viewers exactly that at approximately 11:24 p.m. EST last night. The truth is, that only 5 minutes later, Viacom sent an express letter via courier to DIRECTV threatening legal action if DIRECTV did not comply with Viacom’s demand that DIRECTV turn off the channels. Viacom is legally forcing us to take down the channels, while publicly claiming they are against it.
Nobody wants to lose hits like “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Dora the Explorer,” “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” “South Park” and “Jersey Shore.” On the one hand, nearly all of those shows are deep into repeats and you’re not likely to see anything new for as long as several months. But if you really want the repeats (and many might), it is easy to go to Viacom’s websites to watch them – for free – and we can even help you find your favorite shows if you visit DirectvPromise.com/other-ways-to-watch/. This is also a major reason we don’t think you should pay $1 billion more. It isn’t fair for you to pay that much more to get channels you already receive or tv shows Viacom gives away to everyone else for free.
Viacom is treating our track record as a tough negotiator as a negative, but we’re here fighting beside you and your family. Times are difficult. Families are struggling, and television is one of the great (and still affordable) ways for you to inform and entertain yourself. When network and local station owners come to our customers wanting three times as much, twice as much, and in Viacom’s case, more than $1 billion more for the exact same channels you already get, they shouldn’t be surprised when their feelings of entitlement are met with a dose of hard-working reality. We’d all love a huge raise (especially if you’re struggling) but threatening to interrupt your family’s best way to relax and enjoy time together isn’t the way to accomplish it. So were providing anyone affected by this dispute as many alternatives as possible to either continue following their favorite Viacom shows or switch to others just like them. Maybe together we can put these sorts of unnecessary blackouts behind us for good.