| Disney benefits from Viacom, DirecTV squabble |
While Viacom Inc. and DirecTV Group Inc. grapple over as much as $1 billion in rights fees, one of the beneficiaries in that struggle could be Walt Disney Co., an analyst said Tuesday. About 20 million DirecTV customers lost access to Viacom’s channels early Wednesday — including Nickelodeon — because the satellite provider couldn’t come to an agreement with Viacom on the renewal terms of their seven-year contract.
Nickelodeon is one of a handful of important kid’s channels and DirecTV customers, trying to calm down kids who don’t understand why they can’t watch “SpongeBob SquarePants” or “The Penguins of Madagascar” right this minute, have to figure out something. Many of those parents will turn to one of the Disney networks — Disney Channel, Disney XD or Disney Junior.
Disney Channel’s ratings are already up 21% since the blackout began, said Todd Juenger of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., which suggests it “has picked up all of Nick’s viewers and then some.”
by David B. Wilkerson