Charlie comes through in a big way!


SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
Oct 28, 2003
Well now it's over and the overreactors that were ready to jump ship and condem Charlie as a greedy lunitic will have to find a new issue to rant about!

Charlie has certainly been more than generous in offering $1 to $2 to us for the brief interruption of Viacom programming that was down for a few hours.

What did this cost the company? 9 million or more, plus a free pay-per-view movie? A great big kiss to make your owie better!!!

Now Charlie - lets get the 811 and 921 on the straight and narrow! Stingray
Details lacking

The sad truth is that we have no idea what the terms of the agreement are. For all we know, Dish may be paying 1 cent more per month per subscriber than the best rate quoted prior to dropping the channels. Or, we may be 20 cents per month per subscriber better off. Either way, we do not know...all we do know is that we were inconvenienced. Until the nature of the agreement is public knowledge (probably never), I will not be congratulating him. However, if it turns out that his stunt worked in my favor...then I will congratulate him.

Our prices would have gone up regardless. Hopefully though, thanks to Dish, they won't go up by as much as they would have if they had just rolled over and taken it from Viacom...
I really believe that some people just want to "hate" anyone who has achieved more in life than they have and are simply jealous with an illogical passion. Therefore no matter what Charlie does for us these hateful people will always find some excuse to accuse Charlie and others like him that he is an evil person. While I don't feel Charlie is perfect I do think he tries to do the proper thing to maintain a certain image. I also admire his approach to going on TV each month and explaining the Dish position even though he often get's caught showing off his own ignorance of what's going on in his company to the delight of those who hate everything about him, giving them fuel for their arguments.

In the aftermath of the blackout-
My favorite quote from Charlie during a caller question on Charlie Chat special edition was when asked- "Since Viacom says in it's public ads that all it wants is just the equivalent of 6 cents per subscriber increase why do you think that is an outrageous increase? Why is your 40% you keep saying so much higher than the 6 cents they claim is all they'er claiming?"
Charlie's answer was classic- " Well 6 cents is NOT what they have in their contract but if that is what they want, let them put that in the contract and I'll sign it right now. We'll even add those channels I don't believe are worth adding. We invited the COO of Viacom to come on this show and explain his ads and why Viacom says something different but he refused to accept our offer to explain why the contract is different than his advertising. You do the math, Based on 9.3 million subs, the 200 + 350 million increase for the CBS and MTV networks equates to about $5.00 - $6.00 increase per subscriber, not 6 cents as reported in those ads. Again, if they put their 6 cents in the contract, I'll sign it right now as that is a fair increase. I have to hold on what is in the contract, not what was in those ads." { I did my own math and have to agree with Charlie $550Mper yr/9.3subs/ 12Months/yr = $4.92 per sub. } Later when asked in a press conference how it all came about, among other reasons, Charlie said "there was a difference of the amount of the increase which got quickly resolved late Tuesday, ( I believe it was about 2 hours after Charlie's statement that IF Viacom puts the 6 cents in the contract they claimed in their ad campaign he will sign it and agree to put the additional channels up as well) Then Charlie said "it took about 46 hours for the lawyers to make the agreed changes to the contract to get it ready for signing. And that is how it took 48 hours to have a signed agreement but really the terms were agreed upon Late Tuesday night in about 2 hours."

I really believe that it was Charlie's put up or shut up and put it in the contract what you are telling the public that was the turning point of the Viacom deal.
Bottom line for me is that Viacom tried to pull a fast one spinning public opinion in their ads while having something totally different in the contract. Kudos to Charlie for getting the truth out on what I believe was a Viacom scam trick.

While Charlie may not be the most liked person he was open and public as well as he could be in this ordeal. Viacom remained secretive and deceptive in their attempt to pull a fast one that failed. Is it really a loss to have a few more parts of a sat transponder tied up with what Charlie believes is a wasted channel of one more cartoon? I don't agree with Charlie on this and it's importance factor. I believe Charlie was using the additional channels as a tool of negotiating. Anyone who has ever negotiated a deal understands the importance of having these tools, something you can give up to get what you really want. What Charlie really wanted was the low price and was willing all along to give up the refusal to carry those channels.
I also believe that Charlie was hoping for a deal with the increase to be in the 30 cents (just a guess on my part) as a fair increase but with the ads claiming 6 cents, he was quite surprised and just offered to quickly agree to that IF Viacom put their contract where their advertising mouth was.

If truth were known, I would not be surprised if those ads claiming 6 cents were really meant to be 60 cents and the ad people just made their own math error. With Viacom caught in a huge public ad display, they had to suck it up and agree to what they said in front of the entire nation. How would it appear if they tried to claim the ad campaign was a typo? Probably about as ridiculous as their claim that the Janet Jackson nipple exposure was an accident?
Believe in Charlie or Viacom that is the question? In this case, I side with Charlie.
I am not jealous of him, thats not why I said my comment. Why do you think he is rich as he is today? Because he knows how to be able to keep costs down for him. It is not only for subscribers but for himself as well, although he has tried to do things that other providers has not tried to do. Thats one reason why I am still with Dish today. CNN has a story about how this was good for Dish and their image with the Viacom dispute.

Also Charlie knows that he can only raise rates only so much to stay competitive, so him raising it more because of having to pay Viacom more may not be an option for him. In addition to that, the extra subscribers Dish is getting should be making up for some of the price increases anyways.

What do you think the subscribers would do if they found themselves with a $4 or $5 increase instead of a $2 or $3 one? There would be a good many of them switching services. Now if DirecTv and cable was raising rates as well with the same price increases then there would not be as many switching service but those people would not be keeping track of other providers' rate increase anyways, but just the fact that their own provider gave them one.

Dish knows that they would have to pay the increase within their company if the increases gets too high to prevent them from losing customers because they would lose even more money if that would happen. The increase in subscriber numbers should make up for that. When the subscriber numbers quit increasing then that will cause greater concern for them unless they find other ways of bringing in greater revenue per sub such as satellite internet.

Perhaps Charlie is raising the rates every year even if they do not incur many rate increases that year to make up for a huge rate increase the next year or for a previous year that had one so that they do not have to increase the rates a huge amount all at once. The rate increases over a greater period of time does not look as bad.
Odd...I thought the comment was intended for me.

Stargazer said:
I am not jealous of him, thats not why I said my comment. ...
For some reason, I was assuming the "hate" comment was directed at me simply for pointing out that we lack *any* information with which to make a real assessment of Charlie's success or failure at negotiating.

I agree, more or less, with your assertion that price increases may likely come at any time, and in varying sizes, and will likely represent what Charlie feels will ultimately serve him best in terms of customer retention.

If making such logical statements makes me a jealous hater of any other person, then I guess I am guilty (as well, if they really had intended their messages for you, not me...)
Great post Don. No, he and Dish are not perfact especially about hardware issues, but I just don't get the people who whine about anything at all concerning Charlie. To put a "spin" on what happened that we or Dish lost is just that - a spin. The "No Spin Zone" here, says Charlie sent a strong message that others (Direct or even cable) can build on in future negotiations.)

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Who Read This Thread (Total Members: 1)