Losing access to some 20 plus million TV viewers is no picnic for Viacom networks.
Now just about a week old, the DirecTV-Viacom stalemate -- where some 26 Viacom networks are off the satellite programming service due to a pricing carriage disagreement -- has revealed some major viewership declines, according to Barclays Capital.
Barclays says Viacom networks are averaging 27% viewership declines versus a year ago. Nickelodeon -- which has already been dinged by Nielsen this year with double-digit percentage declines in viewership -- is now off 45%; MTV is down 22% year to year; Spike is off 26%; Nick Jr. has given up 18%; and Nick at Nite, is 48% behind. (Other analysts say the DirecTV problem many not totally be the reason for the drop.)
Barclays is hopeful: "Despite the ratings issues, we continue to believe that a near-term resolution to the conflict is likely, given the value of Viacom's programming, and the sheer number of networks at stake for DTV subscribers."