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Viacom and DirecTV Resolve Dispute USA Today

DirecTV’s 20 million subscribers will again have access to Viacom’s 17 channels after the satellite company and the cable programmer settled their dispute, USA Today reports.

DirecTV said in a news release that Viacom “has returned all affected networks,” according to the story. Viacom reported today at 6 a.m. ET that its cable channels “will return to DirecTV’s channel lineup immediately.”

Terms of the agreement between the two companies were not revealed.

The report notes: “Channels such as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon had been inaccessible to some 20 million DirecTV customers since July 10 as the two companies haggled over how much DirecTV should pay to carry those channels.

“A day later, Viacom also shut off access to full-length episodes on its own websites such as MTV.com and ComedyCentral.com to all visitors, even those who had no stake in the dispute. That was apparently in response to DirecTV telling its U.S. subscribers where they could find programs on the Internet that they could no longer watch on TV.”

Viacom this week restored Web access to new episodes of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” apparently in response to viewer frustration.

“As part of the new long-term deal, DirecTV Group subscribers will also be able to see Viacom shows on tablets, laptops and other devices using DirecTV's Everywhere platform,” the story reports.

Even with the two companies coming to terms, DirecTV Executive VP of Content Strategy and Development Derek Chang let it be known that he wasn’t happy about what had taken place. In a statement, Chang said: "The attention surrounding this unnecessary and ill-advised blackout by Viacom has accomplished one key thing: it serves notice to all media companies that bullying TV providers and their customers with blackouts won't get them a better deal."