LOS ANGELES (AP) — DirecTV subscribers are losing access to “The Daily Show” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

DirecTV Group Inc. stopped carrying channels owned by Viacom Inc. because of a contract dispute. They include MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

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The dispute is over how much DirecTV should pay to carry the Viacom programming. The two companies blamed each other for the shutdown.

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Viacom and DirecTV have had an agreement for seven years, which Viacom says meant that it has been paid below-market rates for the programming. DirecTV, meanwhile, says Viacom is asking for too much money.

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DirecTV has 20 million U.S. subscribers.

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