Viacom And DirecTV Are Fighting Like Children And It Could Cost You Lots Of Channels

So here’s what’s going on…

DirecTV and Viacom — the media conglomerate that owns channels like Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon — have been fighting for a while over rates, or “carriage contract fees,” to use the fancy television terminology. Basically, Viacom wants to charge DirecTV 30% more to carry all their channels to account for changes in the television landscape since their last contract (and also, presumably, because a 30% higher fee means 30% more money), and DirecTV, uh, well, doesn’t want them to do that. Their negotiations had been at a simmer until recently, but now it done exploded all over the place. If an agreement isn’t reached by midnight tonight, Viacom could pull all of their networks from DirecTV’s cable packages, meaning that your screen could cut to black in the middle of the credits for The Colbert Report.

Sean O’Neal at The AV Club has a nice rundown of some of the more childish ploys that have been used during the negotiation, including: Viacom demanding the rate hike when its ratings are at an all-time low, and DirecTV posting a list of places you can watch Viacom shows online, as well as crapping on Viacom’s summer programming by pointing out that it’s mostly reruns and kids are playing outside in the summer anyway. The two sides are only a step or two away from drawing cartoonish mustaches on each others faces, or starting a rumor that the other totally peed his pants at summer camp last year. (You can ask anyone. His mom had to come pick him up and everything.)

Anyway, the whole thing would be hilarious if not for the fact that the only people getting hosed here are the consumers. If I had to put money on the outcome, I’d bet they come to some last minute agreement — either temporary or long-term — that keeps the channels on the air, because both sides stand to lose too much by dragging this fight out. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a dude with a Netflix subscription and high-speed Internet.

In conclusion, here is a video of a cat getting scared by a sneeze.

Cat video via Buzzfeed