Who lives in a Pineapple, under the--hey!  Where's Spongebob?

If you're a DirecTV customer, by now you've probably noticed (especially if you have children) that Spongebob,  Dora, and all the Nickelodeon Channels have gone black. It's now day three of the dispute between the largest satellite provider in the US and one of the larger major networks.

The contract between DirecTV and Viacom expired three days ago, and now due to a dispute over carriage fees, over a dozen channels are not available. Carriage fees are what Viacom gets from such companies as DirecTV,  Dish Network,  Charter, Time Warner and other providers to carry their shows.  Viacom announced they want a 30% increase in the fees and DirecTV will not budge.

The battle has gotten nasty.  While DirecTV has added access to such channels as Sprout from PBS  (for children), The Hub, Fuse, and eight more Encore channels to compensate for the loss of Nickelodeon,  Viacom has now blocked ALL access to watching episodes of Spongebob, Dora the Explorer, and other shows on their website.  DirecTV claims Viacom is not only hurting their customers, but holding all other viewers of the show hostage. Viacom also is the parent company for Spike TVComedy Central and all the MTV Networks.

A variety of comments have been posted on both groups websites and facebook pages.  Some just want DirecTV to get the new deal done,  others blame Viacom.   It is worthy, though, to point out that TimeWarner Cable had a similar issue with Viacom not that long ago. This is no different than what Mid-Columbia viewers saw the last few years with Fox,  KEPR-Fisher communications, and other groups that over the years have had similar issues with DirecTV, Dish, and Charter Communications.

On a personal note, we at Newstalk 870 are pretty much only missing Spongebob (because of our little kids)  and occasionally Spike TV because of the shows MXC-Most Xtreme Challenge,  and A Thousand Ways To Die.