That’s the conclusion BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield reached after he noticed that “Viacom has taken the unusual step of temporarily removing key long-form programming from the web altogether.” Although he says DirecTV is making “a critical mistake” by allowing the Viacom channels to go dark, he adds that Viacom can’t selectively block Web videos from the satellite company’s customers. Public Knowledge says it’s “outraged,” with Senior Staff Attorney John Bergmayer adding that “the scale of Viacom’s overreaction is unprecedented.” Viacom says that it still has more than 4,500 long-form episodes on the Web but “temporarily slimmed down our offerings as DirecTV markets them as an alternative to having our networks.”
Here’s Greenfield’s demo of the Viacom blackout:
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