Viacom Yanks Free TV Shows From Web Amid DirecTV Impasse

Satellite operator offering Starz's Encore channels through July 31

Viacom on Wednesday disabled access to dozens of free full-length episodes on its websites -- from shows including Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and MTV's Jersey Shore -- after the media company's networks went dark on DirecTV in a carriage-fee dispute.

Shows for which full episodes are no longer available include: Comedy Central's Daily Show and The Colbert Report; Nick's SpongeBob SquarePants, Victorious and iCarly; Nick Jr.'s Dora the Explorer; MTV's Jersey Shore and Teen Mom; and TV Land's Hot in Cleveland.

According to a Viacom spokesman, the company is still offering hundreds of free episodes online but chose to pare back the number of full-length shows available because DirecTV is marketing the Internet video destinations as an alternative to the full networks. Viacom has always intended free online episodes to be a promotional marketing tool for affiliates, he added.

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