DirecTV Group Inc. stopped carrying channels owned by Viacom Inc. because of a contract dispute. They include Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1, CMT, Spike TV, TV Land and several others. The dispute is over how much DirecTV should pay to carry the Viacom programming. The two companies blamed each other for the shutdown.
Viacom and DirecTV have had an agreement for seven years, which Viacom says meant that it has been paid below-market rates for the programming. DirecTV, meanwhile, says Viacom is asking for too much money. DirecTV has 20 million U.S. subscribers. This just got NBA Lockout ugly.
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