(NEW YORK) — Nearly 20 million DirecTV subscribers may be saying goodbye to The Colbert Report, SpongeBob SquarePants and the stars of the Jersey Shore Tuesday night if the satellite TV provider fails to reach an agreement with programmer Viacom.
In its blog, Viacom says its 7-year-old distribution agreement with DirecTV is set to expire at 12 a.m. Wednesday. The programmer says its been negotiating for months with the satellite TV provider, but DirecTV has turned down all proposals to renew the contract.
Viacom says talks reached an impasse Monday night when “DirecTV provided Viacom with a counter proposal that included a lower rate than Viacom receives from any other distributor in the industry.”
DirecTV responded Tuesday morning by saying that it had offered the programmer “increased fees for their networks going forward” but said it “can’t afford the extreme increases they are asking for,” according to The New York Times. Those increases amount to “more than a billion dollars extra.”
Should talks remain at a standstill, DirecTV users will be barred from seeing a total of 26 Viacom channels (HD feeds included) on Wednesday. That means no more MTV, VH1, BET, Comedy Central or Nickelodeon, among others.
Viacom is urging DirecTV customers to contact the provider and demand that the company keep the channels.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Matt Egan, CNN
Tara Bench, KSL.com
Jethro Mullen Ivana Kottasova and Patrick Gillespie, CNN