DirecTV has fired back at Viacom Inc., saying it is the programmer's desire to force the satellite broadcaster to carry its movie channel Epix that has caused a breakdown in their negotiations for a new deal.
In a statement, DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said the company had reached a new agreement in principle Tuesday to carry Viacom's cable channels, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
Then, Mercer said, Viacom tried to force carriage of its pay movie channel Epix as part of the contract at a cost of more than $500 million.
"We know our customers don't want to pay such an extreme price for an extra channel," Mercer said. "We stand ready and willing to work with Viacom to get this done and, once again, ask Viacom to do the right thing and restore these channels to our customers immediately."