DIRECTV Subs: Get Ready For Blackouts
(June 5, 2012)
-- DIRECTV, which has prided itself on avoiding channel
blackouts in fee fights with programmers, is now saying it will
accept some blackouts if they are necessary to keep costs down.
According to MediaPost.com, DIRECTV CEO Mike White told an
industry conference last week that "if we have to go dark, we're
going to go dark," meaning the satcaster will allow a channel to
be pulled off the air if it can't reach a new programming deal
with its owner.
This is in contrast with language at DIRECTV's web site which
says the satcaster has had a strong track record of reaching
deals with programmers before their contracts expire, thereby
ensuring the channels stay on the air.
But DIRECTV has stressed publicly in recent months that the cost
of acquiring programming is getting out of control with content
providers asking for more and more money to carry their
"We're going to do the right thing for our business and our
consumers, White added.
By example, White said he's not sure if DIRECTV will carry the
new PAC-12 Network, which will launch one national channel and
six regional channels in August. "We're not going to have seven
channels - I can assure you of that," he said, suggesting the
network will ask for considerable fees to carry all seven.
White said he also hasn't decided what to do with the two new
regional sports networks from Time Warner Cable which will carry
the Los Angeles Lakers this fall. _____________________________________________________________________________