Mommy, Daddy, Where Did SpongeBob Go? Is He DEAD? [Sniffles]

Viacom Apparently Hopes to Enlist Whining Children in War Against DirecTV

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So far there's been at least one winner in the current protracted battle between Viacom and DirecTV: the newspaper industry.

Seems like every time there's a war between old-media companies in the entertainment/broadcast/cable space -- in this case because of a dispute over carriage fees -- they just love to write big checks to old-media companies in the print space. To plead their case, yeah, but mostly to beat each other up.

Case in point: This full-page print ad from Sunday's New York Times, paid for by Viacom, which curiously makes the biggest deal about Nickelodeon vanishing from DirecTV, even though Times readers are more likely viewers of some of the other Viacom channels that disappeared, including Comedy Central, BET, MTV and VH1. This is , of course, a message to households with parents that use Nick as the babysitting channel. Viacom clearly hopes that kids in DirecTV households are raising holy hell about the fact that SpongeBob and friends have gone missing. And whose fault is that ? DirecTV's, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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