Ending what could be called—by those comfortable using hyperbolic language—10 days that shook the cable-programming world, Viacom and DirecTV have ended a dispute that kept 17 Viacom channels inaccessible to DirecTV subscribers, according to an Associated Press report. The at-times ugly dispute found the two sides bickering in public. At one point DirecTV pointed viewers frustrated by their inability to see programs from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and other channels to the Internet. Viacom responded by temporarily pulling that programming from the web, only to piss off a new bunch of would-be viewers in the process. Then DirecTV, finally pushed too far, performed a panty raid on the Pi Delta Pi house, enraging Viacom that much more.
Now, without even the benefit of a campus-wide talent show, the conflict has come to a quiet end, with DirecTV flipping the switch and allowing its subscribers to once again enjoy endless afternoon repeats of How High and that episode of Yo Gabba Gabba where Chromeo sings about the importance of washing your hands. And what was the dispute all about? Money, of course, specifically the fees DirecTV pays to Viacom and how that translates into what DirecTV subscribers pay each month. It’s the latest in a string of disputes between cable systems and content providers that includes an ongoing dispute between Dish Network and AMC that’s kept Dish subscribers in the dark about Walter White’s adventures in drug trafficking and magnetic science. DirecTV subscribers, on the other hand, can breathe easy for now, even if the development means missing out on the truly hot instrumental rock DirecTV has been showing on Viacom channels.