Viacom is apparently using a strong tactic in its contract negotiations with DirecTV — the TV provider now says that it will lose access to a total of 26 Viacom channels (including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and more) as of July 10th if a deal isn't reached. For its part, DirecTV says that it has urged Viacom to keep the channels available to customers while they work out negotiations, but the provider claims that Viacom sent a letter yesterday stating its intention to remove these channels unless DirecTV pays an additional 30 percent (or a claimed one billion dollars) over what it currently pays. Viacom, of course, is painting DirecTV as the bad guy — in a video spot, the network conglomerate claims that "DirecTV is getting rid of MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, and more."

In the meantime, DirecTV is trying to rally support on Facebook and through a special page explaining the situation (that unsurprisingly paints the provider in a very flattering light). The provider has also listed out a number of online resources for customers to go to and continue to view Viacom's programming — it lets users pick a specific network and show and then presents both free and paid online viewing options. Unfortunately, this sort of tactic during provider / network negotiations is becoming rather commonplace — just a few weeks ago, Dish Network customers lost access to AMC. For the sake of DirecTV customers, we're hoping these media giants can privately work out their business and not let it affect the end user.