As noted earlier, DirecTV may be dropping several Viacom channels at midnight tonight -- including Spike TV, the home of TNA Impact Wrestling -- due to a contract dispute. The other channels threatened to be dropped are Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1, BET, CMT, TV Land and Comedy Central.
"Our negotiations have reached an impasse," Viacom stated in a blog post yesterday.
DirecTV alleges that Viacom is demanding a fee increase of over 30%, and stated that they "just can't afford the extreme increases they are asking for."
"That's an extra billion dollars for the exact channels you already receive," said DirecTV CEO Mike White in a video on a site that they created about the issue. "We think that's unreasonable."
Viacom argues that they are the most-watched network operator on DirecTV and attract about 20% of all DirecTV's viewing, while only garnering 5% of their programming spend. Viacom stated on a blog post that they are asking "for an increase of a couple of pennies per day per subscriber," which they note is "far less than DirecTV pays other programmers with fewer viewers than Viacom."
TNA is urging fans to contact DirecTV to stop them from dropping Spike and the other Viacom channels. The company is also having their stars push hard on Twitter for fans to call DirecTV at (800) 531-5000. Hulk Hogan, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Velvet Sky and Abyss are amongst the TNA stars sending out messages asking fans to act. You can check out a message from Hulk Hogan about the situation below: