Nearly 20 million DirecTV customers awoke Wednesday morning to find they were missing many of their favorite channels.
DirecTV and Viacom had been trying to hammer our a new distribution agreement by a Tuesday night deadline, but the sides could not come to a compromise and all Viacom channels on the satellite service went dark at midnight.
According to a message posted on Viacom's blog Tuesday, a total of 26 Viacom channels, including MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1, Spike TV, Nickelodeon and more were at risk of vanishing.
The media giant lashed out at DirecTV, blaming the satellite provider for the lack of progress in reaching a new agreement.
"We regret that DirecTV refuses to consider a fair deal that recognizes the value of Viacom programming," Viacom stated on their blog.
According to Viacom, the discussions between the two parties failed due to DirecTV's rejection of all proposals, including a reduced rate of service:
"Despite our best efforts, DirecTV has rejected all of our proposals to renew our agreement. This evening, 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."
DirecTV responded Tuesday, insisting Viacom wanted to charge customers 30 percent more for the same channels they were already receiving at a lesser cost.
A New York Times article reported that DirecTV offered Viacom "increased fees for their networks going forward" but the satellite provider insisted it could not afford increases in excess of $1 billion for which Viacom was asking.
Despite many viewers belief that one of the sides would blink by the deadline, both DirecTV and Viacom dug in their heels and viewers turned on their sets Wednesday morning to find many of their favorite channels missing.
Both companies insisted they would continue efforts to reach an agreement, but in the meantime, frustrated viewers will have to settle for alternate programming or turn to alternative viewing methods, such as Netflix, to keep up to date with their favorite shows.