Elauwit responds to the DirecTV – Viacom dispute

  A financial spat between DirecTV and Viacom meant the satellite provider’s customers woke up Wednesday morning without the company of Jon Stewart, Snooki, “Dora the Explorer” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.” A finger-pointing brouhaha has resulted between DirecTV and multi-channel programmer Viacom.

"Viacom dropped its networks from DirecTV," the satellite company said in a news release.

"DirecTV dropped 26 Viacom channels," Viacom spokesman Mark Jafer blogged.

The dispute has resulting in a blackout of many popular channels such as MTV, VH1, Spike, BET and Comedy Central and is affecting every single DirecTV customer nationwide, including many of Elauwit's customers.

Elauwit delivers internet and television service to hundreds of communities, but does not provide the actual television programming. Video programming we offer some of our customers is delivered via DirecTV, hence the disruption in service for residents.

In the past, these types of interruptions have not lasted very long (they are usually avoided altogether), but it is not possible for us to predict when this will be resolved. DirecTV promised a "variety of replacement channels" for the lost Viacom programs, but those details are still vague, even to us. When you read a DirecTV promise, be aware that it is aimed at their general retail customer. At your community, the TV programming transmits from DirecTV’s network system to ours, before coming to you. While this allows you to benefit from the same programming at a much lower cost, it also means some work has to be done for our network to be able to deliver alternative channels to you – it isn’t as easy as “flipping a switch.” DirecTV is also recommending viewers can “look for the content online.” With our super high-speed networks, this should be no problem.

Even though we cannot control this situation, we sincerely apologize and thank you for your patience. We are closely monitoring it and working to take the best course of action. This situation remains unstable but we are hopeful for a rapid resolution.

If you want to learn more about this situation, each of the parties have created web pages where you can learn about their side of the story and even weigh in if you would like. More can be found at these links:

In addition to that, please stay tuned to our Networks division's Twitter and Facebook pages where updates to the situation and the possible addition of replacement channels will be posted as info becomes available.

All News, NewsLindsey Johns