Viacom and DirecTV are still trying to hammer out a new deal that will bring MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and more than a dozen other channels back to the satellite broadcaster.
But in between the talks, the two sides are still taking shots at each other.
Interviews with the chief negotiators for both parties reveal that there is still a wide gulf dividing the companies.
"Their ratings have dropped on a lot of their major networks. It's hard to justify significant increases," said Derek Chang, a DirecTV executive vice president. DirecTV claims that Viacom wants an increase of 30% to carry its channels, which translates into $1 billion.
Viacom's Denise Denson, executive vice president of content distribution, countered that the media giant's channels represent 20% of all viewing on DirecTV and yet "we get about 5% of their license fees. That's the real crux of it."
DirecTV's Chang said there is more than money dividing the two companies. He does not like that Viacom puts much of its content on its websites for free.