Viacom, DirecTV in deal to restore programming

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Viacom and DirecTV announced Friday that they have reached a deal, putting aside their dispute and allowing programming to return to the airwaves.

The agreement ends a dispute that has interrupted programming since July 10.

Viacom had blacked out channels for 20 million customers of DirecTV. Among the channels affected were Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, Spike and VH1.

“It’s unfortunate that Viacom took the channels away from customers to try to gain leverage, but in the end, it’s clear our customers recognized that tactic for what it was,” said Dereck Chang, executive vice president of DirecTV.

Viacom said Friday that it was “extremely pleased to bring its programming back to DirecTV subscribers.”

Throughout the impasse, the companies had blamed one another.

Viacom was seeking what DirecTV claimed was a 30% boost, or an extra $1 billion, on top of its prior deal. Viacom countered that the hike it sought was just “a couple of pennies per day per subscriber.”

The companies did not provide a dollar figure for the new deal.

DirecTV is the second-largest television service provider in the country, behind Comcast.

Viacom owns eight of the top 30 cable networks.

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