DirecTV and Viacom played chicken , and the customer lost: Viacom just pulled the plug on as many as 26 DirecTV channels, including MTV, Comedy Central, Spike, VH1, and Nickelodeon. As usual, the loss of service is the direct result of a contract renewal dispute. DirecTV claimed that Viacom was seeking an additional 30 percent increase in royalties from DirecTV to renew its subscriptions, estimated at an additional $1 billion outlay in total, and apparently DirecTV wasn’t willing to pay up nor Viacom willing to budge in time to avoid a blackout. As usual, both parties have public relation campaigns in place to ensure that customers blame the other company for the loss of service. DirecTV has a web campaign, ” DirectTV Promise ,” which calls..