As previously reported, Viacom and DirecTV have been unable to reach an agreement to keep DirecTV customers getting programming from Viacom.
Viacom has now cut off online streaming of some of its shows from its sites, to all viewers, so now even people that aren’t DirecTV customers no longer have convenient online access. CNN reports:
Fans can no longer watch full episodes of shows like “SpongeBob Squarepants” and “iCarly” or “Jersey Shore” and “The Daily Show,” which is sure to further anger the 20 million DirecTV subscribers who continue to find a dark screen when they change the channel to Viacom-owned nets like Nick, MTV, Comedy Central and VH1.
“Once again it’s viewers who suffer when media companies stall in their negotiations. But the scale of Viacom’s overreaction is unprecedented,” said John Bergmayer, a Senior Staff Attorney for the Washington-based public interest group Public Knowledge.
“Viacom has decided to take a service away from all Internet users in its attempt to punish DirecTV,” he added. “It is apparent that Viacom puts little stock in the Internet and the online future of video if it is willing to use all Internet users as a pawn in its negotiations.”
“We hope that Viacom and DirecTV can work out their differences quickly so that people can continue to access Viacom’s popular content lawfully,” he said.
And that’s just it. Those who want it bad enough, will probably seek out access that isn’t so lawful.
Some Viacom content is still available via shows websites and mobile apps, and on Netflix, and probably other similar services. In fact, The Daily Show – one of the shows pulled from online access – still has clips accessible via its Android app.