DirecTV subscribers may lose popular channels owned by Viacom Inc, almost 20 million subscribers access to 26 channels, including Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1, CMT, Spike TV, TV Land and more.

DirecTV dropped the channels late Tuesday when two sides couldn’t reach a new fee agreement, New York-based Viacom said in a blog post. There was no word on whether the companies would continue negotiating. “We are hopeful that DirecTV will work with us toward a resolution, and stop denying its subscribers access to the networks they  watch most,” Viacom said.

The standoff is the latest conflict between media companies and cable and satellite TV providers over the cost of content. These providers pay a fee to media companies that allows them to carry channels such as MTV.

Buying television programmes is the single biggest cost for distributors and in recent years they have taken a harder line against what they view as unreasonable “carriage fee” increases by content producers like Viacom.

“We have been very willing to get a deal done, but Viacom is pushing DirecTV customers to pay more than a 30 percent increase, which equates to an extra $1 billion, despite the fact that the ratings for many of their main networks have plummeted,” Derek executive vice president of DirecTV said in a statement.

I’m so glad I don’t have them as my provider!!

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