irecTV 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
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- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
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- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Watch Zach Galifianakis get annoyed at President Obama on Between Two Ferns
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- The Daily Show has some fun mocking the CPAC power players
- 10 things you need to know today: March 11, 2014
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
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