As a long time DirecTV customer, I have a stake in this. However, I'm not taking the side you'd expect me to take. I'm with DirecTV on this one & here's why.
1. I don't really watch anything on Viacom. I HATE the reality shows that have taken over MTV, VH1 & the music channels. Save new Futurama episodes & the occasional True Life I manage to see when they bother playing it, I don't watch any of the new content. I just watch older shows that I have seen plenty of times & either were cancelled by some dope or haven't been in production for over 10 years.
In other words, Viacom isn't AMC.
2. We have this little thing called downloading. Smart companies would embrace this & set up platforms where there are affordable means to see programming. I recall Cartoon Network having streaming versions of their Adult Swim shows available a day or so after the initial airing; hubby & I watched The Venture Brothers that way when we didn't have cable (if you're attending law school, you don't want cable or special programs in the house since it will be a distraction from studying).
Maybe if these networks did that, people would watch the shows legally. Even something like Hulu has limitations & I like the idea of having the option of streaming content after a few days.
3. DirecTV has done pretty well by us. They've given us free promotions & the executive customer service team is top notch. In other words, they have shown some loyalty to the customer in our situation.
Plus, their service is extremely reliable. We rarely lose our signal & only if it's pouring down rain outside. I know people who lost their service when there was even the smell of rain in the air.
They were also here the very first full day we lived here to install our service & the tech was very polite, accommodating, etc. despite us having to unpack things to get to the TV and allow him to do his job.
4. I doubt anyone I know who works at a Viacom network is going to be getting any piece of that 30% increase Viacom wants to impose on our monthly bill. If they actually were, I might be more sympathetic but since I'll bet it's just going to overpaid, gluttonous executives and vice presidents with more money than God already, I really don't give a shit.
I hope DirecTV sticks to its guns & tells Viacom just where to get off. I was on AMC's side in the dispute with Dish Network but that's because AMC is actually producing good programming that's not more reality garbage. Breaking Bad is so good, you'd think it was an HBO show in style, production values, etc. I also hear good things about Mad Men, though I've never actually seen it myself.
What does Viacom have? Dropping ratings. No music videos on MTV (which really should be called something else) or VH1 (you have to go to VH1 Classic for those, though now they're even doing fewer videos). Programs having zero to do with the channel's content on MTV & VH1 (Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, Mob Wives?!?!, other bullshit reality shows I don't give a damn about & that don't even feature actual musicians along with movies that aren't even music related like Pretty in Pink; I'll watch my movies uncut on DVD, thank you).
Comedy Central showing a bunch of movies & occasionally a decent South Park episode to go with Futurama. My husband wouldn't even miss Tosh.O & he likes that show.
BET, which a lot of people feel is exploitative to women & insults black people by only parading out stereotypes.
Centric, which I'm not sure what the hell its purpose is except to show older black shows that haven't gotten airings in a while like 227 & In Living Color.
Logo, which used to show Rick & Steve and The Big Gay Sketch Show but since then hasn't really done anything I give a damn about. They cut up the ending theme for Daria so they can go to Hell.
Wow, I can watch people throwing hissy fits on the subway. I can probably also throw a much better hissy fit if provoked into one by lack of air conditioning or incompetence by a service professional who should know better. Why would I watch reality TV featuring this crap? Why not just air bum fights next? How about a show called "I'm a Whore?"
Funny but in the normal workplace when you ask for more $, you have to have some kind of justification for it that's not "I've been here for XYZ number of years." You have to show RESULTS. What results has Viacom shown to justify this extortion attempt? Try and answer that one, guys. We'll wait.
Oh, and here's another essay you might be interested in. Yep, they asked me about this! Cool, huh?