The Washington Post

DirecTV, Viacom dispute pulls channels off the air #thecircuit

DirecTV, Viacom: A dispute between Viacom and DirecTV has left millions of satellite customers without access to popular channels such as Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV and CMT. In all, 17 distinct channels are out, though the HD versions of some bring the total up to 26.

The conflict has brought up the issue of “cable choice” or the ability to let customers pick and choose what channels they want to pay for in their subscriptions.

DirecTV has said that its customers should be able to pay only for the Viacom channels they want, while Viacom has said such a deal wouldn’t be fair to its distributors.

NAB files motion to stop political ad postings: The National Association of Broadcasters filed a motion Wednesday to keep the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing rules that would require broadcasters to post the rates they charge for political advertisements online.

The rule is set to go into effect on Aug. 2; broadcasters say that the rule is unfair because cable stations would not be subject to the same requirements.

Amazon said to be testing a smartphone: Amazon is testing a smartphone in Asia, the Wall Street Journal reported, adding fuel to the speculation that the online retailer will move on from tablet computers and into smartphone production.

The report, citing an unnamed parts supplier, said that the phone may be distributed widely as soon as the end of this year.

Megaupload: Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom, who was accused of using the site to profit from copyrighted material, has said he will go to the United States to answer those charges, Reuters reported.

On Twitter, the executive — who has been awaiting an extradition hearing in his home in New Zealand — said that he would voluntarily go the United States to answer the charges.

“Hey DOJ, we will go to the US,” Dotcom told his followers. “No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses.”

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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