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article image20 million DirectTV customers will lose Viacom channels Wednesday

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By David Silverberg     Jul 10, 2012 in Technology
Due to a negotiation impasse, millions of U.S. TV viewers will soon be unable to view channels such as MTV, Comedy Central, BET and other Viacom properties. The blackout will be in effect as of Tuesday at midnight.
"Nearly 20 million DirecTV subscribers will be without entertainment from the programmer they watch most." That statement from Viacom's blog sums up the upsetting situation for DirectTV consumers who enjoy shows on stations such as Comedy Central and Spike TV, for example.
Viacom’s distribution agreement with DirecTV expires at midnight Tuesday and despite deep negotiations between the two companies, the two sides didn't resolve anything. As the blog notes, "DirecTV provided Viacom with a counter proposal that included a lower rate than Viacom receives from any other distributor in the industry. With this offer, our negotiations have reached an impasse."
Viacom says their programming accounts for 20 percent of all viewing on DirecTV.
DirecTV replied to Viacom's statement, saying on its website that it has "absolutely no intention of removing your favorite Viacom networks ... but unfortunately Viacom executives sent a letter to us late last night, forcing us to take these channels down by midnight tonight if we don't come to an agreement."
"Viacom wants you to pay over 30 percent more to keep the channels you are already receiving," costing customers $1 billion, DirecTV notes.
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