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Viacom, DirecTV reach seven-year deal

July 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

NEW YORK, July 20 (UPI) -- Viacom Inc. and DirecTV Group Inc. said they had reached a seven-year deal that restores Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and other channels for U.S. viewers.

The two companies had taken their pricing disagreements public with DirecTV saying Viacom was demanding a 30 percent increase in fees, which would have showed up in service bills for their customers.

While Viacom blacked out popular channels for the past nine days, DirecTV used its delivery system to explain its position to customers over the airwaves.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday terms of the seven-year deal were not disclosed.

Negotiators had discussions through Thursday night and reached an agreement Friday morning.

"Viacom is extremely pleased to bring its programming back to DirecTV subscribers, and thanks everyone affected by the disruption for their patience and understanding during this challenging period," the company said in a statement.

DirecTV continued to assert its position on the channel blackouts that caused customers of both companies to defect to other options.

"The attention surrounding this unnecessary and ill-advised blackout by Viacom has accomplished one key thing: it serves notice to all media companies that bullying TV providers and their customers with blackouts won't get them a better deal." said Derek Chang, executive vice president of content strategy and development for DirecTV.

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