DirecTV Viacom dispute: MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon dropped by DirecTV

Across the nation, millions of DirecTV subscribers woke up Wednesday to discover they no longer have access to some of their favorite channels.

Starting just before midnight Tuesday night, networks owned by Viacom were no longer available on DirecTV.

The change comes amid a heated dispute between the entertainment giant and satellite TV carrier over the fees paid for cable channels.

In a news release, Viacom says DirecTV dropped all its channels, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

But in its own release, DirecTV claims it was forced to remove the networks or face legal action.

At issue is how much DirecTV pays Viacom per subscriber for each of its channels.

Both companies have created websites outlining their sides of the dispute and encouraging subscribers to take action.

It's not clear if or when Viacom networks will return to DirecTV.