Web Video Inflames Fight Over US TV Fees
Posted in: Online TV/Music at 13/07/2012 14:20
The disappearance of Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central from the TV sets of 20 million American homes on Wednesday marked a line in the sand drawn by one of the biggest pay-TV distributors in a dispute over programming fees with a major entertainment company.
What might once have been a run-of-the-mill spat has taken on heightened importance because it occurs at a pivotal time in the TV industry. Low-price or free online video outlets like Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc.'s YouTube are emerging as serious competitors to traditional cable-TV services, putting the spotlight on the relatively pricey nature of cable TV.
That issue is particularly acute in this dispute, where Viacom Inc. is seeking an increase in the fees it is paid by DirecTV to carry its channels. Viacom licenses many of its shows to outlets like Netflix and Amazon, prompting industry executives to worry about cannibalizing traditional TV. Several top Viacom channels, particularly Nickelodeon, have recently seen ratings declines.
To continue reading this Wall Street Journal report, go to: