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Viacom and DirecTV: how a royalty dispute resulted in 26 channels going off-air

6 updates since Jul 10, 2012, 12:30 PM UTC
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DirecTV Viacom
DirecTV Viacom

On July 11th Viacom pulled all 26 of its channels from DirecTV's satellite network. The companies have since settled their differences and all the channels are now back on-air — but how did a simple royalty dispute result in millions of subscribers losing access to popular channels like MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon?