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(Dish Network)   Dish Network cuts off all Viacom channels over price dispute   ( divider line
    More: Followup  
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20982 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Mar 2004 at 7:28 AM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

216 Comments     (+0 »)

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2004-03-09 03:17:26 AM  
This sucks so much for Dish people. I'm watching Comedy Central on Comcast Cable at the moment, but I still feel for you.

Earlier comments on the subject:

2004-03-08 11:33:00 PM Gromitigo

I was watching cartoon network, and just all of a sudden: SCAT PORN!


2004-03-08 11:33:47 PM Norad

Submitter: Did you see a curious text crawl during the VH1 "I Love The 80's" broadcast? Regarding removal of channels?

I thought that was pretty damn weird, too....Anyone?

2004-03-08 11:36:32 PM Juansmith

That has been playing intermittently on all Viacom cable/satellite channels - MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, etc. I have cable, and it still played on mine.

Because of the Superbowl boobie thing, apparently Dish Network is considering dropping the Viacom channels.

2004-03-08 11:38:09 PM Norad

Thanks, Juan..that was a new one to me, and I watch a helluva lot of TV

2004-03-08 11:38:21 PM downstairs

I'm the poster... and I shoulda looked on the site before I posted.

But its weird anyway... apparently they're taking their negotiations on rates for some channels out on the customers... its completely immature... funny... but immature....

Anyone else see those weird messages on their Dish??

2004-03-08 11:43:16 PM Masta Shake

Yeah...ive been seeing those on my dish network setup for the past few days...

whats really interesting is the Black censor bar that dish network has been poping up in front of the scrolling text message.

Sometimes it gets up to "attention dish network subscribers" and then the bar kicks in, other times it gets up to the point where its going to tell you what you can do to keep this from happening, and then blamo.

Methinks that their is some underpaid kid sitting at a keyboard at master controll watching all the Viacom channels (which are the ones being threatened) and feverishly waiting for the text scroll to appear, so he can hit the key and black bar that bueaty.

The problem was supposed to come to terms sometime today, and as its 11:42 and i still have comedy central, im assuming the best.

Who knows. And yeah, the feed is being sent from Viacom HQ, my ex has DTV and she has been watching the text crawler as well.

2004-03-08 11:43:16 PM Juansmith

Hmmm... Seems there's more to this than the Janet Jackson boob. That was just my guess.

From Dish Network's website:
Stations owned by Viacom have proposed excessive rate increases we feel are unreasonable. We always strive to control costs on behalf of our customers. We continue to work tirelessly to negotiate with Viacom so you do not lose your channels.

So Viacom is biatching to their viewers about how Dish Network is the bad guy, and Dish Network is basically saying the opposite. Seems rather immature.

2004-03-08 11:44:19 PM GraceyCurls

I saw it on Cable tonight, was watching CBS at the time..

2004-03-08 11:44:58 PM Juansmith

Masta Shake:

Dish Network is censoring Viacom's ticker message? That's weird... I was just thinking that Dish Network would probably start broadcasting their own propaganda message at the same time as Viacom did.

I'm sure this will lead to a lawsuit.

2004-03-08 11:55:22 PM GraceyCurls

CBS News in NY has something on their home page. Here is the link

2004-03-08 11:57:01 PM Stompn_Tom

Would Viacom try that?
I know the message is legit but you would think in the "sue-happy" USA that Dish could sue Viacom for telling people to directly call Dish network (Dish Network call centre flooded = added cost etc..)

...or was it a hacker who did this?

Saw it during the Daily show (on on the Comedy Network in Canad- we just pump direct feed for this show)

2004-03-09 12:00:49 AM Bertrando

Yes, I saw the scroller several times yesterday during Dogma. And Dish Network was always blacking it out after a few seconds. Sometimes they even put the black bar there when the text wasn't showing.

I was expecting the network to start moving the scoller to the top of the screen, or maybe making a PiP effect, or maybe flashing the message on the whole screen between commercial and movie. If Kevin Smith had really been presenting the movie live, I bet he would have said something. ;-)

2004-03-09 12:04:16 AM Austin

If I remember correctly, the deadline was midnight eastern. Well, it's a few minutes past that and the channels are still on my dish. Either they reached an agreement, or are late turning them off.

2004-03-09 12:14:12 AM supichoo

yup, saw the same thing scroll and then the black bar at the end of dogma. wierd wierd shtuff.

2004-03-09 12:22:15 AM Juansmith

I know the message is legit but you would think in the "sue-happy" USA that Dish could sue Viacom for telling people to directly call Dish network (Dish Network call centre flooded = added cost etc..)

Nah, I doubt Dish Network would be successful in such a lawsuit. Viacom has the right to free speech on its channels. In fact, I think a lawsuit by Viacom against Dish Networks would probably do better, since they're stifling a concern being brought to the customers.

2004-03-09 12:44:57 AM JacksBlack

This all got hashed out this morning on SlashDot.

2004-03-09 12:48:07 AM Stompn_Tom

True, but I am sure lawyers could spin it either way. I don't think this will be the last of it. I used to work in the TV industry and still get the magazines/emails etc. should be some interesting reading coming up

2004-03-09 01:03:41 AM MC Magic Cracker

I got through Futurama and Family Guy (in no particular order) without pornographic interruption. Is Cartoon Network Viacom? I know it's Turner...

Maybe someone's only futzing with the west coast satellite feed.

2004-03-09 01:53:39 AM Juansmith

You're probably right, Tom.

I'm sure Viacom isn't telling the whole truth with their ticker-message, but I do think it's their right to present that message on their channels unimpeded. If there is a lawsuit, it should be an interesting one.

2004-03-09 02:08:58 AM special_patrol_group

In the Mpls/St Paul area we get MTV2 as part of network televison (I think it replaced the Box). Viacom has got Spongebob telling viewers in a full screen ad to call up Dish and keep their channels.
2004-03-09 05:58:52 AM  
I find it amusing that they "regret" the channels are unavailable. If they truly do, why didn't they take the hit for the customer and fight it in court. And it seems odd this is happening during the March reruns.

Also I still seem to have 3 CBS stations, so Comedy Central is the only one that ticks me off.
2004-03-09 07:34:52 AM  
Looks like I will be cancelling my Dish Network subscription. I gotta have my Daily Show.

Anyone know if Directv is having any specials right now?

Just looking for a one room deal type thing.

I liked Dish Network too. Had the 150 package plus the starz package. Only ran me about 53 a month for all of that. The same thing with Comcrap would be much more.
2004-03-09 07:35:08 AM  
I have cable and I saw the scroll warning for customers this weekend while watching CSI on Spike.
2004-03-09 07:36:02 AM  
My Spongebob is gone. I feel lost.
2004-03-09 07:39:47 AM  
Long live capitalism.
2004-03-09 07:46:25 AM  
It's television. Move on with your life.
2004-03-09 07:46:25 AM  
Damnit! I checked my viacom channels this morning and they were gone. I feel empty. I need my Daily Show or I'm going to implode.
2004-03-09 07:49:12 AM  
I don't see this lasting more than a few days. Looks like it was a game of chicken and Viacom was expecting Dish to cave.

Other than a handfull of programs on Cartoon Network and The Daily Show it was not that wonderful to start with. (Allthough my 5 month old will miss noggin, That's what DVDs are for)

While some people may jump ship beacuse of the apperent loss, Viacom lost 8 MILLION viewers at 3am EST. That many affects their Ad rates. I assume some of the advertisers will be expecting a refund. Plus the loss of Dish not paying the huge rate hike.

People like to moan and whine about how much "pay TV" cost these days, but when a company stands up for you and things like this happen you jump up and down and whine about loosing a few stations.
2004-03-09 07:49:51 AM  
So I lose over 10 channels and I get $1 credit? That doesnt quite work out when I have to pay more than $1 just for the local CBS affiliate.

I wish I was a lawyer...

<summon Litig8or>
2004-03-09 07:50:21 AM  
It's not just that, lbn - people are paying for the cable service, and they go in expecting certain channels to be there.
2004-03-09 07:51:02 AM  
does not really affect me... seeing as i steal cable anyways thanks to slipping my cable guy a 20 spot when he came out and hooked up my roadrunner cable modem
2004-03-09 07:52:59 AM  
I have DirecTV. I like it just fine, in case any of you Dish folks were thinking about switching.

But I'd like to echo what Ibn said: It's just TV people. Don't freak out too much. Maybe you could read a newspaper or something instead?
2004-03-09 07:55:28 AM  
Holy Mother of Ralph! My kids were PISSED OFF this morning and blaming dear old Dad 'cause they couldn't watch Nick.

Both parties have 48 hours to sort this childish mess out or I'll be back on cable. I don't give a rat's ass flipped in cornbread about either side's position, I just want my kids to stop whining.

My mornings are crappy enough as it is without this.
2004-03-09 07:55:41 AM  
Now it's one hell of a stand off... if Viacom caves, then DirecTV is going to get upset because they're paying hundreds of millions of dollars more than Dish Network. If Dish Network caves, then the subscribers are going to have to suck up a rate hike.

I like how they won't let me out of my contract and they're only going to give me a dollar for losing 10 channels. I pay more than a dollar for CBS alone...
2004-03-09 08:05:07 AM  
I like Dish a whole lot more than I like any of the shiat that Viacom spews. And if I should want to watch CBS, yea right, then I've got a rabbit ears.
2004-03-09 08:07:27 AM  
flyinglemur, I just noticed that, too. $1 for wiping out 10 channels. How farking generous of them.
2004-03-09 08:11:56 AM  
I have Charter digital cable and was wonder why I saw that bar on the bottom of the screen.
2004-03-09 08:12:30 AM  
Dish Network recently raised the rates anyway. We did gwt a nifty pay per view coupon out of it though. =\
2004-03-09 08:14:44 AM  
I am going on my 8th year as a DirecTV subscriber, and I have never looked back. In fact, my rates have only gone up about $5 over those 8 years - and I get MORE channels now than ever.

DirecTV, people - it is the best. The Dish is just an imitator.

Cable sucks *ss.

/saw the crawl during the daily show last night and woke up my wife to tell her we had made the right choice - again. It wasn't a popular decision, me waking her up that is.
2004-03-09 08:14:58 AM  
To quote Dire Straits "I want my MTV!"
2004-03-09 08:21:29 AM  
Cable = Cable Modem = Fark yeah!
2004-03-09 08:21:29 AM  
That sucks big time- For all the Dish network subscribers out there- I'll be recording comedy central shows on my SA Explorer 8000 tonight!!

TimeWarner to Dish: Pwn3D!
2004-03-09 08:21:34 AM  
I called Dish Network 3 times to see if I could get more specific information. I just want some real numbers, ie what is the dollar amount of this increase? All the reps will do is read from the script, then refer me to the Charlie chat scheduled for 9 EST tonight.

If the loss of those 10 channels (but TV Land is still available as of 5am EST)= $1 a month, then wouldn't if be fair to assume the supposed 40% increase would mean less than $1 a month increase per subscriber?

I do admire Dish Network for standing by their principles, but wish they would have given subscribers more info in advance. I just want staight answers; is it a 40% increase, or 5-7% as Forbes is listing?
2004-03-09 08:26:28 AM  
I stopped watching cbs the day clear channel bought it. The only station worth a crap in their line up is comedy central and I will miss that. But this is just like the upcoming election, these mega corps are running the show. This is racketeering, and I for one think it is the right move. $20 for a cd, dont think so. It took a while but they backed off. For president you got evil or eviler. For radio you got sucks or blows. I have dish, I got it after 20 years of cable, and the cable company dicking me around. I had a dealing with direct tv and they blow goats. This is not a fight over some tv programming, it is a fight against lobbyists and the scum they bought off in Washington. As a consumer I have to say go for it Dish, Fark the media giants!
2004-03-09 08:41:15 AM  
Quick note: Clear Channel does NOT own CBS. Its VIACOM.

2004-03-09 08:42:01 AM  
that sucks royally, but i love my comcast and video on demand.
2004-03-09 08:43:50 AM  
Well I'm a dish customer as well, and I'm also someone who just bought a new house, and let me tell you every little dollar I save helps. I applaud Dish Network for standing up to viacom. I'm just glad Discovery Channel is not viacom. Then I really would have nothing to watch.
2004-03-09 08:44:07 AM  
you people ever hear of DirecTV? Fight the power Dish Network! Heck, I don't watch any Viacom owned stations anyway!
2004-03-09 08:48:02 AM  
Believe me, if cable were an option where I live, I'd change over in a heartbeat. But we switched from DirecTV to DishNetwork because of poor customer noservice at DTV. Otherwise, we can't even get a clear signal with an antenna.

OTOH, it is only television...right?
2004-03-09 08:49:34 AM  
I have DirectTV and it's a ripoff unless you get all the channels. They wanted $12 for 3 Starz channels. I went with the HBO package. As long as I have my Food Network so I can watch "Good Eats".

/Alton Brown is the man
2004-03-09 08:50:13 AM  
I find it odd that everyone is calling for the death of Dish Network here. Seems to me that they're on your side here (as much as a heartless multinational can be, of course). They are telling Viacom to take their bundling and their rate increases and shove it. How is that not a good thing for consumers?

Oh, you're going to miss your favorite show(s). Nice to see Viacom controls your universe. Go ahead and switch networks then. Yay for arbitrary rate increases! Yay for fleecing!

Now I'll disclaim: I like to catch Conan, Law & Order reruns, Family Guy, and Star Trek here and there. But if my provider decided to cut the off to reduce costs, I'd either find something better to do, or *gasp* find a friend that wasn't affected.

2004-03-09 08:50:35 AM  
I agree with dinahmoehum. It's about God damn time somebody stood up to the media giants. Wonder what would happen if we all called CBS and Viacom and biatched to them too. Besides Comedy Central and Nick, maybe VH1(80's strikes back), they are overcharging for a lackluster lineup. I am a dish subscriber and I am sticking with them, and I will gladly take the $1 back, since Dish is not obligated to even give us the $1 back. I'm not one to turn down free money. i'm glad Dish is sticking it to Viacom, and standing up for their customers, would your cable company do that for you? HELL NO!!!
2004-03-09 08:51:29 AM  
I'm also a Dish Customer. Dishnet has been great for the past few years I've been with them; I could care less about those channels. I'm proud that Dish is standing up to those goofballs! Guess I'll fire up the XboX when Daily Show usually comes on. I would go for time warner cable in Rochester but I would be triple what I pay for dish just to watch 256 channels of commercials about how bad satellite sucks.
2004-03-09 08:57:58 AM  
I'll state my allegiance right off the bat: I'm a DirecTV subscriber. Have been for about 4 years. Wouldn't give it up for anything. Last time I moved, the third item on my checklist was a south-facing patio.

That said, I support Viacom on this. EchoStar's stance is nothing more than a smear campaign. Yes, on a percentage basis, Viacom wants a big increase. But EchoStar already raised the rates in anticipation of this happening! Of course it was well above the rate of inflation (their very flimsy argument against Viacom) and more than enough to cover the added fees Viacom wanted. EchoStar needs a nice hot cup of STFU.
2004-03-09 09:00:15 AM  
oh another crisis
2004-03-09 09:01:20 AM  
Yeah, its nice that Dish is standing up to a big media behemoth, but its not the rate increase they're trumping it up to be. Like setsail pointed out, its actually an increase of 7%. Meanwhile, they're 'reimbursing' customers one measly dollar, which seems kinda patronizing to me.
2004-03-09 09:01:24 AM  
you mean you americans have to pay for satellite?,
it's free up here ;)
2004-03-09 09:01:26 AM  
Thank God for DirecTV.

NFL Sunday Ticket and The NFL Network are worth the price alone.

Plus, a few of my friends tell me that they think DirecTV has better picture quality and better customer service than Dish Network, which they have. DirecTV may be a bit more pricey, and not have a few channels in their "basic" package like Dish does, but with news like this, it's evident why DirecTV is the way to go.

Just my opinion. I've been w/ DirecTV for 5+ years, zero complaints.
2004-03-09 09:02:57 AM  
oh great. No Nick. the mtv and the rest I can live without, but no NICK? *sigh* oh well. kids don't need to rot thier minds in front of the idiot box anyways. And I agree $1 is awful piddly, I loose CBS, I ought to get the full credit for that channel. Otherwise... go for it Dish... I don't want to pay any more for some of those crappy channels.
2004-03-09 09:02:57 AM  
Just a reminder for fans of "March Madness", CBS, Viacom owned and operated, has exclusive broadcast rights for the NCAA tourney. You'll miss all games and many conference champioships if this is not settled soon. Very soon. Duke still sucks!
2004-03-09 09:03:47 AM  
They are both huge farking companies. I only give a shait for the potential layoffs, Fark the companies
2004-03-09 09:07:06 AM  
You fools who think this is DishNetworks fault are so blind. Viacom has chosen to raise their rates and only added one channel to the lineup. I believe it is NickToons. The rate increase I believe was reported in the range of 50%. Charlie has vowed on his Charlie chat to fight for subscibers to keep rates down. That is the reason I chose Dish. DirecTV gives in, because they will just pass the buck on to the subscibers without flinching. It is time someone takes a stand on this.

And anyone who thinks this is about the Janet Jackson incident really has no idea what is going on here. I have been a Dish customer for 4 years and I will never go back to cable.

Dish is a corporation, and they are looking out for themselves, but they are also trying to put an end to this cycle of rate inflation. Dish is not the evil one here.
2004-03-09 09:09:34 AM  
DirecTV may be a bit more pricey,

And a 10% price increase just came down the pike.
2004-03-09 09:11:00 AM  
8 years of Directv, no real complaints except the initial price of equipment. $75 a month is steep but I do get a few packages. Dish network needs to give it's customers a reach around while they're at it.
2004-03-09 09:15:47 AM  
Customers will ALWAYS go direct to the distributor for any problems with products of service, regarless of who the source is. Have a problem with your George Foreman Grill? Bring it back to WAL*MART, because calling George Forman ain't gonna do you no good. There is absolutely no way that Viacom will take the fall for this in the eyes of most consumers. DirectTV will take the fall.

They ONLY way that cable and satellite providers can distance themselves way from this is selling channels a la carte, instead of packaged deals which is a rip anyways in my opinion. Example, if Disney-owned ABC was $1.50/month and Viacom-owned CBS was $2.50/month and they were both supplied by DirectTV then I'd see Viacom as the bad guy. Lesson to be learned - unpackage your services.

/hates TV
2004-03-09 09:17:21 AM  

I have the Dish 150 package, supestations, and locals. I have never had an increase in over 4 years. My package is cheaper than the same on DirecTV. You are just talking out your Ass. DirecTV only has the advantage on sports packages, but I get WGN out of Chicago and that is most of what I need for sports anyway.

DirecTV is better than cable, but Dish has a better DVR package, cheaper rates, and in my opinion a better picture with less compression artifacts. Just because dish does not waste money with flashy ads does not mean DirecTV is better. By the way, the flashy ads are why you pay more, and you can keep that Tivo crap.
2004-03-09 09:17:32 AM  
I have Directv, and have no real complaints. It was obvious that a rate increase would come as soon as Hughes was sold to Fox. The subscription rates were held down to keep the base up to make it look more attractive to a potential buyer.
2004-03-09 09:21:10 AM  
I am happy with Dish network (8+ years subscriber) but the only thing that bugs me is that NFL package. Isn't the NFL out to make money? So why then wouldn't you want to sell your package to everyone who wants to buy it and not just to the people that have a certain specific system. I am staying with Dish network because they offer a bunch of international channels and I get the Greek channels.

a bit off topic: When I was living in Greece anyone with a satellite dish could get the NFL package. Sure the games started at 8pm on sunday (8 hour time difference) and that late game on sunday was at 4am but it was cool because I usually had monday off.
2004-03-09 09:21:36 AM  
It's crap.. I pay Dish near 100 a month for the everything package with local and superstation. While DirectTV's same package is near $91.00 and it includes all the Fox sports stations. Apparent DirectTV doesn't have a problem with Viacom....

As for arbitrary rate hikes, the stupid service providers do it all the time. Dish just did it... I bet they are taking a stand now because they probably can't raise the rates again after such a short time. It's rediculous!


My daughter's want spongebob (and I kinda do to! :)
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