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{MIDDAYS WITH JAZZY MCBEE} Viacom and DirectTV Have Beef!

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Will Your Screens Go Black? What You Need To Know About The Battle Between Viacom, AT&T And U-Verse

BET, MTV and more of your favorite channels may go dark on your TV screens on if Viacom and AT&T’s DirecTV and U-verse doesn’t come to an agreement as the service providers’ carriage deal expired on last night. This comes after AT&T decided to drop Viacom networks from the basic tier of its new DirecTV Now packages.

Viacom has made a statement,  “… made a series of offers that are good for consumers and good for AT&T,” which would allow subscribers to keep Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, Comedy Central, and Paramount while lowering cable bills.

Viacom blames the dispute on AT&T. It owns the number one traditional satellite operator which is DirectTV and cable operator U-verse, which has nearly 4 million subscribers. 

 “Unfortunately, AT&T is abusing its new market position by favoring its own content which significantly underperforms Viacom’s  to stifle competition. AT&T-DirecTV’s behavior is also consistent with a recent pattern of gouging their customers by charging them higher prices for an inferior product with fewer channels. Especially troubling, AT&T-DirecTV is marginalizing diverse audiences in its new DTV packages and threatening to do the same with their existing products,” Viacom has stated. 

In response to Viacom’s statement, AT&T noted that Viacom’s channels have lost about 40 percent of its audience in the last six years.

“We’re disappointed to see Viacom put our customers in the middle of their negotiations. We are on the side of customer choice and value and want to keep Viacom’s channels in our customers’ lineups. We hope to avoid any interruption to the channels some of our customers care about,” AT&T said in a statement.

If screens do black out on Friday, there will be customers that will miss major programs and events scheduled to air like the Annual Kids Choice Awards and BET’s one-hour primetime news special called “American Injustice” featuring  Senators CoryBooker and KamalaHarris.

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