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Viacom, AT & T Pass Carriage Deadline with Calls to Avoid Blackout Continuation



Viacom and AT & T remain in wagon negotiations but have failed to reach an agreement before the end of their current transport agreement at midnight on the east coast. The signals from 23 Viacom networks have not been darker than across DirecTV and U-Verse, an outsized piece of pay-TV universe of 24.5 million households, but they won't come if a new deal can be introduced.

The high-level dispute follows the sequel of last week by AT & T to eliminate certain Viacom channels as well as Discovery, A + E Networks and AMC Networks offers from its skinny-bundle service DirecTV Now. Cutting these networks from the newly configured base of DirecTV Now very much was interpreted as an assessment of Viacom's profitability in the rapidly developed TV ecosystem. Although the company once controlled some of the most valuable features in the media industry, the disturbance of digital content and streaming has eroded ratings on many networks across the wheel. Programmers such as Viacom, whose game missions do not have to see live tickets or news, find themselves with minor complaints in wagon negotiations.

Fighting these headwinds, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish has worked diligently since he got the best job in December 201

6 to repair the distribution conditions that had deteriorated under his predecessor, Philippe Dauman. He has successfully developed renewals with Charter, Altice and other major operators, and Viacom has not suffered a blackout since 2014. The value of AT&T in the form of fees and advertising has been estimated at $ 2 billion by Wall Street analysts.

The move at AT & T is the mission to cut costs, as the company looks to pay off debt in connection with the acquisition of Time Warner at $ 81 billion. DirecTV is still the US satellite operator No. 1, but it continues to lose subscribers, in line with cross-cutting trends. Its internet-supplied offshore DirecTV Now came out of the port strong after its launch in 2016, but has also recently divested subscribers. Its recovery with two streamlined packages, at $ 50 and $ 60 per month, puts it in a higher console than some competitors. Management has warned that subscriber losses for DirecTV can now continue during the next quarter or two. But many Wall Street analysts look at the top of the shaving programming costs.

"We need to get the content cost growth in line with what the customer is willing to pay," says AT & T CEO Randall Stephenson during AT & T's fourth quarter profit ring in January. "And the customer is willing to pay almost no extra money right now. So the cost of the content has to reflect it. We will be very assertive when we go through the year to control the expense of content costs."

Given that the company's agenda was urgently, it was hardly surprising that the two decisions of each party were particularly pointed. The AT&T Time Warner deal gave Viacom another card to play. As Dish Network has recently had in its still-unresolved stalemate with HBO, Baki's troops have invoked the merger as an unfair anti-competitive element.

Unfortunately, AT & T abuses its new market position by favoring its own content – which significantly underperforms Viacom's – to stifle competition ", Viacom claimed in a statement earlier this week. AT & T fired back by calling Viacom a" serial bad actor ". Its statement stated that" several of Viacom's channels are no longer popular. Viacom's channels in total have lost about 40% of the audience over the past six years. "


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