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Old 12-31-2008, 11:45 PM   #1
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Post Viacom Threatening To Pull MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon & 16 Other Channels TWC

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Viacom May Pull MTV Off Time Warner Cable
Cable Company Call Fee Increases 'Exorbitant'

Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Los Angeles -- Media giant Viacom Inc. is threatening to pull MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon and 16 other channels from Time Warner Cable Inc. if a new carriage fee deal is not agreed upon by midnight Wednesday.

If realized, the move could shut off popular shows like "The Colbert Report" and "SpongeBob SquarePants" to 13 million subscribers, said spokesman Alex Dudley, a vice president at Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable operator.

"The issue is that they have asked for an exorbitant increase in their carriage fees and their network ratings are sagging," he said. "Basically we're trying to hold the line for our customer."

Viacom has asked for fee increases of between 22 and 36 percent per channel, adding up to tens of millions of dollars per year, an amount that could increase customers' cable bills, Dudley said.

Viacom replied in a statement that the increases would cost less than 25 cents a month per subscriber. It said that Americans spend a fifth of their TV time watching Viacom shows but its fees make up less than 2.5 percent of the Time Warner cable bill.

"We make this request because Time Warner Cable has so greatly undervalued our channels for so long," it said.

"Ultimately, however, if Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and the rest of our programming is discontinued -- over less than a penny per day -- we believe viewers will see this behavior by their cable company as outrageous," it said.

Tense negotiations are continuing at the highest level, Dudley said.

Part of the disagreement is that most of the popular shows are rerun on Web sites where Viacom collects advertising revenue that it does not share with Time Warner, Dudley said.

"We don't think that's fair," he said. "They're trying to have their cake and eat it too online, where anybody can get it for free."

Viacom has staked much of its revenue-growth prospects on its ability to squeeze higher carriage rates out of its cable and satellite affiliates despite an ad slowdown and weak ratings.

In the third quarter, media network revenue, which accounts for about two-thirds of the total, grew 6 percent to $2.1 billion, despite global ad revenue falling 2 percent, largely because of double-digit percentage growth in affiliate fees and the success of its "Rock Band" video game.

Viacom shares rose 69 cents, or 3.7 percent, to close at $19.26 on Tuesday, while Time Warner Cable shares added $1.56, or 7.7 percent, to $21.76.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:07 AM   #2
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Well, I hope they don't take off TVLAND...

But I think they need to take off those stupid assed cartoons that has nothing to do with good or evil. I don't mind the old cartoons like Mickey Mouse or even Tom and Jerry though. Just the newer cartoons that are stupid.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:11 AM   #3
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Well, I hope they don't take off TVLAND...
It's a Viacom channel so barring any last minute reprieve, it's gone.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:16 AM   #4
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Anyone have any idea how long this crap will last? I don't know how long I can go without comedy central.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:35 AM   #5
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Anyone have any idea how long this crap will last? I don't know how long I can go without comedy central.
HA!!! I wonder how long my half sister can last without her Spongy wongie baby cake...

Oh, wait a minute, I think my dad and stepmom don't have Time Warner Cable but Verizon...

Never mind.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:40 AM   #6
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I've lived without cable my whole life, so I'll survive. I just feel bad for the innocent people involved...and the viewers, who always get the short end of the stick.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:53 AM   #7
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I wonder if it will affect customers who have Comcast (which used to be Time Warner).
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:10 AM   #8
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I wonder if it will affect customers who have Comcast (which used to be Time Warner).
No.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I wonder if it will affect customers who have Comcast (which used to be Time Warner).
NO. It ONLY affects people whose CURRENT cable company is Time Warner
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:41 AM   #10
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NO. It ONLY affects people whose CURRENT cable company is Time Warner
until every other cable company's contracts with viacom come up...
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:28 AM   #11
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It's almost 12:30 am here and they're still on the air! I hope that's a good sign. *crosses fingers* Unless postponed the time of blacking the channels out.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:09 AM   #12
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I figured that Dish Network would be affected...it seems like they are always yanking channels over price disputes.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:10 AM   #13
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There was good news in the early hours of Thursday for tiny tots in New York, Los Angeles and other large cities: The “Sponge Bob” blackout has been avoided.

The ball had already dropped in Times Square, but MTV Networks and Time Warner Cable kept talking through Wednesday night and into the early New Year and concluded a deal in principle that insured that shows like “Sponge Bob Square Pants” and “The Colbert Report” would still be available to the 13.3 million subscribers to the Time Warner Cable service.

The final terms, which were not disclosed, will be worked out in talks in the next few days, a Viacom executive said.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:26 PM   #14
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I was so pumped to see the channels still on the air. I need my TV. *sits on couch, eats junk food, and gets fat* God Bless America.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:36 PM   #15
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Viacom is an Evil Empire, all they want is money and to oppress their stuff so we can't see them cheap or free!
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