MTV, VH1 Stars Urge People to Call AT&T and DirecTV Amid Viacom Negotiations
Trevor Noah, Lindsay Lohan, Abbi Jacobson, Pauly D and Nicole Polizzi, among other Viacom talent, are asking their social-media followers to call AT&T-DirecTV and post on their social platforms as the expiration date for the conglomerates' contract is set to expire Friday.
The stars of MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and other channels shared the following message on Thursday, with some adding more personalized messages to the beginning or end of the form message. "AT&T-DIRECTV is about to drop MTV, VH1 and up to 21 other channels. If that happens you won’t be able to watch me on Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club! Call 1-888-250-5557 and tell AT&T-DIRECTV to keep MTV. Go to http://keepviacom.com for more info. #keepviacom."
"If AT&T-DIRECTV drops @MTV ,we’re ALL gonna be newly inducted members of the IFF!" Jersey Shore star Pauly D wrote.
"I’m not catfishing you," Catfish's Nev Schulman added.
The messages come as Viacom and DirecTV's contract is one day away from expiring, and the two conglomerates are in negotiations for another deal. AT&T has already dropped Viacom channels from the DirecTV Now streaming service; the AT&T U-verse and DirecTV could be next.
"Unfortunately, AT&T is abusing its new market position by favoring its own content — which significantly underperforms Viacom’s — to stifle competition," Viacom said in a statement on Thursday about the negotiations. "AT&T-DirecTV’s behavior is also consistent with a recent pattern of gouging their customers by charging them higher prices for an inferior product with fewer channels. Especially troubling, AT&T-DirecTV is marginalizing diverse audiences in its new DTV packages and threatening to do the same with their existing products."
The current carriage agreement between AT&T U-verse and DirecTV and Viacom expires at midnight on Friday. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to AT&T-DirecTV, Comedy Central and MTV for comment.