By Mandi Bierly
Updated July 11, 2012 at 11:00 PM EDT

Search Twitter for responses from DirecTV subscribers currently without their 17 Viacom-owned cable networks and you’ll see some passionate ones. Some folks (like Big Bang Theory EP Bill Prady) would like the financial dispute swiftly resolved so they can watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, while others simply want their MTV or BET (or CMT or VH1). But it’s the parents of Nickelodeon fans who caught our attention. Chancie Parmley, 30, is a mother of three — 3-year-old Lexi, 5-year-old John, and 8-year-old Kiley — in Virginia Beach, VA. Last night, she and her family were watching Nickelodeon when they saw a commercial informing them that their favorite shows were soon to be “NO MORE” and giving them DirecTV’s number to call. Watch it below.* “My 3-year-old was in tears saying, ‘I’ll never get to watch Dora again, Mommy. Why are they doing that? Why are they not letting me watch Dora? I love Dora,'” Parmley tells EW. “My 5-year-old was like, ‘I’ll never get to see SpongeBob?!’ How do you explain that to a 3- and a 5-year-old? If you want to say, ‘Call DirecTV and discuss it with them,’ fine. But you don’t use cartoon characters to scare kids to manipulate their parents. That’s below the belt…. It’s kinda like saying, ‘Santa Claus has died, and you’re never gonna get anymore Christmas presents.’ To a kid, ‘I’ll never get to see my favorite show again’ is a big deal. To them, cartoon characters are real. I’ve talked to friends who’ve said the exact same thing. [Their kids] felt like SpongeBob was dying.” (A rep for Nickelodeon did not return EW’s request for comment.)


With the commercial on heavy rotation last night before the network went dark, Parmley’s kids grew more and more upset. She calmed her 3-year-old by saying they could rent Dora movies or watch Dora online. She felt her 8-year-old, who has DVR’d episodes of Victorious and iCarly to get her through, might be able to process an explanation: “I explained to her, ‘Well, Viacom wants more money, and DirecTV says it’s not fair and that they’re trying to keep prices reasonable so our bill doesn’t go up. Chances are, we’re gonna have the channels back. It just might take a couple of days.’ I think that’s reasonable,” she says. “DirecTV’s a huge market to just totally alienate like that. And customers like me have a contract with DirecTV. People aren’t gonna pay $200 to disconnect their service to switch to somebody else whenever all they have to do is go and watch the shows online for free.”

* Carly is not threatening to electrocute herself in the tub, though it may look like that. “That’s actually an episode that’s from a couple of months ago,” Parmley says. “It’s sad that I know this, but she was getting ready for a date, and she was playing around, and she got her toe stuck in the spout. It was actually a really funny episode. I’ll say it: I watch Nickelodeon, too. I use my kids as an excuse, but it’s one of the few channels that you can watch with your kids and you don’t have to worry they’re going to discuss things that little kids don’t need to know about.”

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DirecTV customers lose MTV, Nick and other Viacom nets