DirecTV Drops 26 Channels Due To Viacom Dispute

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DirecTV customers will have to get their Snooki fix somewhere else. The satellite provider dropped 26 channels last night, including MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central, due to a contract dispute with Viacom.

Viacom and DirecTV’s seven-year-agreement came to an end last night at midnight. Both sides tried to renegotiate the contract and both sides are blaming the other for leaving close to 20 million customers without their favorite stations.

Viacom said in a statement:

“We proposed a fair deal that amounted to an increase of only a couple pennies per day, per subscriber, and we remained willing to negotiate that deal right up to this evening’s deadline. However, DirecTV refused to engage in meaningful conversation.”

DirecTV claims that Viacom was looking for a 30% increase in royalties. The satellite provider also blamed Viacom for stopping negotiations.

DirecTV said:

“(We approached Viacom) with a new proposal and a request to keep the channels on while we continued to negotiate, but never heard back, so DirecTV had to comply with their demand to take the channels down or face legal action.”

Viacom posted a video (and took out several newspaper ads) asking DirecTV customers to call the company and demand to see their favorite channels. Several people have taken to Twitter to complain about the situation, but the blame isn’t being put squarely on the shoulders of DirecTV.

DirecTV has also taken to Twitter to communicate with its customers.

What do you think of the DirecTV / Viacom dispute? Do you think DirecTV customers will abandon ship? Do you think the company should stop running these commercials?