The catfight between DirecTV and Viacom took a nasty turn this afternoon, as the broadcaster decided that it would temporarily stop streaming full episodes of some its shows simply because DirecTV pointed out to its ticked-off customers they could get some of their blacked-out favorites online.
“We still have hundreds of long-form episodes remain online, for free, but we have temporarily slimmed down our offerings as DirecTV markets them as an alternative to having our networks,” a Viacom rep tells Gigaom.com about its decision to pull some viewer favorites like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, both of which are on vacation anyway.
Perhaps more annoying is the fact that going to Viacom sites like ComedyCentral.com forces viewers to sit through a loud, repetitive ad exhorting DirecTV customers to contact the satellite folks about the lack of Nickelodeon and Vh1 Classics.
Gigaom reports that Viacom offerings will still be made available on Hulu and other third-party streaming sites. This stands in contrast to the 2010 fight between Fox and Cablevision, in which the broadcaster was able to block Cablevision cable customers from accessing its videos on Hulu.
Some reports claim that the DirecTV and Viacom have come back to the negotiating table, so hopefully the nearly 20 million satellite customers will soon get back all the stations they pay for every month. In the meantime, DirecTV is giving customers free access to the Encore movie channels.