Potential Viacom channels being dropped from DirecTV could have a major multibillion-dollar effect on the network group in terms of advertising and afffiliate revenue, says one analyst. Todd Juenger, media analyst at Bernstein Research, writes in a note: “Viacom would potentially lose $1 billion [per year] of affiliate revenue and $1 billion of advertising revenue. There would be very little offsetting costs.”
Viacom is blasting telco giant AT&T on several fronts as the companies wrestle over a carriage renewal deal that is vital to Viacom’s long-term financial health. As of Tuesday, Viacom had begun running crawls and promo spots on its channels warning viewers that Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, MTV and other channels could go dark on AT&T’s DirecTV as of midnight ET on Friday, when the current contract expires.
The lawmakers from Colorado and Wyoming say the satellite operator’s offering of distant signals from New York and Los Angeles in place of local affiliates in 12 small markets is “unacceptable” and “must end.”
Both DirecTV and long-time rival Dish Network have recently reported fourth quarter 2018 operating results and the numbers are not good. The satellite operators are suffering from the same problem as cable operators are — the proliferation of broadband OTT services. None of this is good news for broadcasters since the slow migration of subs from cable and satellite to OTT will likely suppress retrans revenue growth.