- Last Updated: 4:45 PM, July 11, 2012
- Posted: 10:27 AM, July 11, 2012
Don’t expect to see SpongeBob back on DirecTV anytime soon.
Michael White, CEO of the satellite-TV provider, sounded less than optimistic today that a fee spat with cable programming powerhouse Viacom – home to channels like Nickelodeon and MTV – is close to being resolved.
“They’re asking for a billion dollars over five years. We’re currently paying them $500 million,” White told The Post at the Allen and Co. media gathering in Sun Valley, Idaho.
“It is not fair to our customers. In this economy, consumers are struggling,” he added, shaking his head.
White said he wants the same kind of deal that other pay-TV providers with 20 million customers get — likely a reference to Comcast, the nation’s biggest cable operator.
Nomura analyst Michael Nathanson estimates Viacom receives an average price of $2.25 a month per subscriber for its group of 26 cable channels that also includes Comedy Central, BET and VH1.
The step-up is likely to be another 60 cents in monthly subscriber fees, according to Nathanson.
Viacom’s channels went dark in DirecTV’s 20 million homes at midnight last night.
Earlier today, Viacom chief Philippe Dauman told The Post, “Its unfortunate. The deal was seven years old,” adding the firm is looking for a fair market rate.