DirecTV customers will have to go without Snooki, SpongeBob, and Jon Stewart after Viacom and the satellite provider failed to come to an agreement Tuesday on programming fees. That caused 20 million subscribers to lose 26 channels — including Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central — overnight. The dispute highlights the friction between content creators like Viacom and pay-TV distributors over costs of programming, as cheap online streaming alternatives, like Netflix, lure away customers. Before the blackout, Viacom said it had offered DirecTV a "fair deal" on rate increases after the company benefited from "way below market rates" in its seven-year-old deal. DirecTV, meanwhile, criticized what it described as a 30 percent rate increase. There is no word as to if and when the issue will be resolved.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- The most sensible GOP alternative to ObamaCare comes from a Senate candidate who is almost sure to lose
- When Khomeini said no to Iranian nukes
- 10 things you need to know today: October 23, 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
Subscribe to the Week