Viacom Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. said today (March 11) they ended a contractual dispute, restoring CBS broadcasts to 1.6 million EchoStar viewers.

Viacom Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. said today (March 11) they ended a contractual dispute, restoring CBS broadcasts to 1.6 million EchoStar viewers.

Viacom said that more than 9 million EchoStar viewers nationwide will be able to watch Viacom-owned cable networks including MTV, VH1 and CMT again.

The agreement follows EchoStar's Tuesday removal of CBS in 16 local markets and dropping of 10 Viacom national channels from its service, as the companies had failed to reach an agreement on contract terms by a particular deadline.

The new long-term agreement means that EchoStar will also air a new Viacom channel, Nicktoons, this spring. The satellite-television provider had previously balked at what it described as Viacom's demands that it carry channels such as Nicktoons in exchange for rights to broadcast CBS.

The pair, which have disputed for months, have also settled all litigation between them, according to a release issued by Viacom. They did not disclose the terms of the new pact.

EchoStar sued Viacom in January, charging it with illegally forcing the satellite-television provider to carry newer cable networks it did not want in exchange for the right to retransmit CBS television stations in 16 local markets.

--Reuters