If you’re wondering why your favorite Spongebob SquarePants shows are no longer available online, it all comes down to money.

Full episodes of the cartoon about an energetic and optimist sea sponge with a sick wardrobe, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and many more of your favorite traditional television programs are offline thanks to a feud between Viacom and DirecTV. Here’s how it all went down.

  1. According to DirecTV, Viacom allegedly pulled their programming when DirecTV would not agree to the company’s demands of 30% rate increase. According to Viacom, DirecTV offered terrible terms and pulled 26 Viacom channels from its programming lineup before an agreed upon bargaining deadline.
  2. Regardless of who’s right in the multi-billion-dollar-media-conglomerate-said-multi-billion-dollar-service-provider-and-broadcaster-said argument, the result was over two dozen channels were removed from DirecTV.
  3. DirecTV then told its customers they could find their favorite Viacom programs online and various Viacom destinations around the web.
  4. Viacom then took down several of those programs and replaced them with a well-edited PSA (replete with clips from Viacom entertainment properties), which explained why DirecTV dropped its programming, how the broadcaster is paying Viacom less than their competitors, and solicited customer support.

The constant back and forth is causing some bad publicity for both companies. Not everyone has DirecTV and the severity of Viacom’s response may appear to some to be out of touch with the reality of the situation. By shutting everything down, Viacom sends a message that a feud over “contracts” is more important than the happiness of the vast majority of their internet viewers.

It’s good to see, however, that not everyone has lost their head. In an article from the Washington Post, Courtney Mattison of Vermont tweeted her opinion on the matter. Her response, much like the response of everyone else not intimately involved in the situation, is that the two publicly traded companies are acting like kids. Viacom and DirecTV need to get their act together and hug it out.

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