Viacom and AT&T Continue Talks on Deal for DirecTV, DIRECTV NOW, & AT&T WatchTV as Deadline Passes for Blackout
Viacom’s contract with AT&T ended last night (March 22nd) at 11:59pm meaning that customers were at risk of losing all programming from 23 Viacom-owned channels including BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, and VH1. This weekend Viacom-owned Nickelodeon will be airing the Kids’ Choice Awards, hosted by DJ Khaled.
According to reports, while a deal has not been struck, executives from both Viacom and AT&T continue to negotiate past the deadline. As of right now, the blackout has been put on hold. The two sides are expected to reconvene today in attempt of reaching a deal.
The carriage dispute would affect customers with DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse, as well as streaming services DIRECTV NOW and AT&T WatchTV. While the channels were recently removed in their new DIRECTV NOW PLUS and MAX plans, those grandfathered into the existing Live a Little, Just Right, Go Big, and Even More plans include Viacom networks.
Yesterday it what appeared to be a negotiating tactic, DIRECTV NOW customers started noticing that two new channels, Boomerang and REVOLT, appearing in their channel guide, even if they subscribed to the lowest tier, Live a Little plan. Before today, Boomerang was only available for Even More customers ($85) and REVOLT for those on the Go Big ($75) plan.
The WarnerMedia-owned, Boomerang airs classic Warner Bros. cartoons. REVOLT, the network founded by Sean Combs, is a music-focused network focused on hip-hop entertainment. The two networks could fill in for some of the content lost from Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV, and BET.
Just last month, Viacom agreed to a deal with fuboTV to bring their channels to subscribers this Spring. The company has also been available on Sling TV, as well as the the $16 a month, entertainment-only streaming service Philo since they launched in 2017. Viacom channels aren’t available on PlayStation Vue, Hulu Live TV, or YouTube TV.