Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I WANT MY MTV: You could be out of luck if you live in the US and want to see MTV or any of the other Viacom channels - including 16 CBS affiliates in big cities. Dish, the US equivalent of BSkyB, has kicked them off the air as a dispute over contracts. The last week has seen Viacom channels trying to carry messages to its Dish viewers begging them to try and intercede with Dish on their behalf; Dish responded by blocking out the messages with black bars. It's a high risk strategy for Dish, of course, who are still viewed as a second-choice carrier in the American market, where cable has a much larger share of the cake; knocking out one of the major networks plus the likes of MTV and VH1 is hardly going to make their product seem more inviting. It's all down to who blinks first.

Watching all of this with interest, of course, will be BSkyB and MTV Networks, who have had some issues with payments themselves.


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