There is no doubt that the damage to both DirecTV and Viacom will be severe if the two companies don’t resolve their dispute quickly.
On one hand Viacom is already suffering a 27% drop in ratings after their channels went dark, and on the other, DirecTV faces a subscriber backlash for a lack of popular channels, which rivals air.
I’ve seen the PR campaigns of both companies in action, trying to put blame on each other for the sudden drop of channels but there is a bigger victim in this mess: The customer.
What will DirecTV subscribers think now that they can’t access the channels they love to watch? Then, how will Viacom compensate for the revenue lost while their networks sit in the dark and 20 million people get pulled into other shows?
Both companies need to work together to solve this dispute, and in my view, as quietly as possible because at the end of the day, viewers just want to watch the programs they paid for. It’s not fair for them to be involved in this because they can’t do anything about it except unsubscribe and leave less money in the pot for both Viacom and DirecTV.
In addition, I feel that DirecTV has to work hard now to keep subscribers during the turmoil and stop blaming Viacom for its woes. Subscribers are also, in my view more likely to punish DirecTV as they can clearly watch Viacom channels elsewhere. Time to resolve this by the weekend!