KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Starting before midnight Wednesday, 30 million DirecTV subscribers in the United States lost many of their favorite channels.
Satellite distributor DirecTV is in a dispute with Viacom, which owns the 17 channels no longer available.
The fight between companies has gotten heated. Both companies have posted videos online arguing the reason why they have not made a deal.
In one video DirecTV CEO Mike White says, "Viacom continues to do insist on an all or nothing approach. They demand you pay over 30 percent more. That's a billion dollars for the same exact channels you already receive."
Viacom Executive Vice President of Content Distribution and Marketing Denis Denson posted a statement saying, "The last time we spoke with DirecTV at 11:00 a.m. and there were no new ideas offered for resolution. In fact, the last proposal DirecTV had made was lower than anyone else pays in the industry, and a deal we said we would not do out of fairness to other distributors."
Some of the channels gone from DirecTV include Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1, MTV, and BET.
For the Kilday family of Knoxville, with three small children, some of the children's programming will be missed.
"I didn't know a lot about it," said Dan Kilday. "We see little alerts that pops up on the bottom of the screen, but that's about it."
Local DirecTV dealers said they do not expect the channels to be gone for good. They said these disputes are not new.
"Usually these things work themselves out after a few days," said Kilday. "I'll be surprised if it goes much longer."
Some DirecTV customers also want to know if they will get a discount because they are not getting all the channels they signed up for.
"We're are working with our customers on an individual basis to make sure they are satisfied," said DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer. "These disputes typically don't last long and we will resolve it."
Mercer said this is not the first time a distributor has forced DirecTV to take down channels.