“The Daily Show” returned with new episodes Monday night, which meant Jon Stewart got a chance to weigh in on the DirecTV-Viacom fight (the one where DirecTV and Viacom are battling over programming fees, leading all Viacom channels — Nickeldeon, MTV, Comedy Central, etc. — to be dropped from DirecTV customers).
Stewart isn’t buying it.
“Viacom, DirecTV, what are you doing here?” Stewart demanded. “You’ve got ad campaigns blaming people for taking the shows away. Telling people to rise up and demand it like it’s some kind of basic cable Arab Spring.”
“I’ve got news for you,” he continued. “It’s not. None of this matters. None of this is indespensible.”
Then, Stewart brought up the classic example: “Do you remember Oprah?”
By this, he means, that time when Oprah ended her wildly popular syndicated talk show after 25 years, people were very upset, but then — they got over it.
Stewart had even more to say about Viacom pulling full episodes of certain shows (like “The Daily Show”) offline — except, apparently, not Monday’s show — when DirecTV started pointing customers in that direction.
“You’re pulling the shows from the Internet?! Viacom! What are you, China?” Stewart raged. “You don’t think the kids already have a workaround?...You’re basically blocking old people from watching the show.”
Finally, Stewart revealed the bottom line: “You’re giving people a chance to remember there’s other entertainment in the world,” and said that without their favorite Viacom channels to keep them occupied, people may just start remembering these weird things called “books” — and then get over it.
Viacom has reinstated its shows online — in a statement, the company said it brought episodes of “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report” back online to coincide with the return of the late night shows’ new episodes.
“We hope this is helpful to our fans with DirecTV who have yet to switch to a cable/satellite provider that carries Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET and all our 26 networks,” Viacom said in a statement, according to the Hollywood Reporter.