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 Time Warner Subscribers to lose all Viacom channels

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ZitoFan86

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PostSubject: Time Warner Subscribers to lose all Viacom channels   Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:46 pm

This is some fuckery

UPDATE (keep refreshing for breaking news): What an
awful way to ring in 2009. It turns out that Viacom claims it has been
trying to negotiate a "fair" renewal of its prized cable channels for
months and months, but reputedly Time Warner Cable has been
unresponsive and "unreasonable" so talks have stalled. The nation's 2nd
largest cable system operator, in turn, claims Viacom is asking for
"exorbitant" increases in carriage fees which would have to be passed
along to the customer. So now this fight between the two Big Media
giants will hurt cable viewers. At 12:01 AM on January 1st, just after
the ball drops in Time Square, Time Warner Cable's 13.3 million
subscribers will lose 19 Viacom channels -- Comedy Central; CMT: Pure
Country; Logo; Palladia; MTV; MTV 2; MTV Hits; MTV Jams; MTV Tr3s;
Nickelodeon; Noggin; Nick 2; Nicktoons; Spike; The N; TV Land; Vh1; Vh1
Classic; Vh1 Soul. The howling starts here, especially by parents home
for the holidays with children who won't have access to their favorite
shows like SpongeBob Squarepants and Dora The Explorer, and tweens/teens wanting to see new episodes of those new
unreality Reality TV series The City and Bromance, and twentysomethings and older who get their news from The Daily Show With Jon
Stewart
or The Colbert Report.

This
affects all U.S. Time Warner cable subscribers including those in New
York and Los Angeles. Alex Dudley, a vice president at Time Warner
Cable, the nation's second-largest cable operator, is telling reporters
that the dispute with Viacom "is that they have asked for an exorbitant
increase in their carriage fees and their network ratings are sagging."
However, Nickelodeon is 2008's No. 1 basic cable network,
drawing the largest audience in its history. MTV, on the other hand, has seen ratings slide.
Time Warner Cable claims it's "trying to hold the line on fees for our
customer" -- but it's really worried that if Viacom gets its raises,
then every cable programmer will want them. TWC claims Viacom has asked
for fee increases of between 22% and 36% per channel, but Sumner
Redstone's company maintains the increases would cost less than $.25 a
month for the package of channels per subscriber who spend a fifth of
total TV time watching Viacom shows but its fees make up less than 2.5%
of the Time Warner cable bill. (Sports channels are paid the biggest
cable premium). But Time Warner Cable also is complaining that Viacom's
popular shows are rerun on Web sites where Viacom collects advertising
revenue that it does not share with Time Warner. On the other hand,
Viacom has staked much of its revenue-growth prospects on squeezing
higher carriage rates out of its cable and satellite affiliates despite
an ad slowdown and weaker ratings.

Such
negotiation battles between cable networks and cable system operators
have happened before and lasted merely hours. In 2004, for example,
Viacom's cable channels disappeared from EchoStar's Dish Network for
two days while both sides fought over the terms of a new contract. And
Time Warner blocked ABC from its cable systems in New York during a
breakdown in contract negotiations with parent company Disney. So this
one will either end fast or go on forever. It probably will depend on
how many subscribers start flooding Time Warner Cable with obscene
calls. Viacom has already started a hardball campaign to "Call Time
Warner Cable and say 'NO' " starring The Hills and South Park.



This is Viacom's just issued statement:


This
move by Time Warner Cable to force such channels as Nickelodeon, Comedy
Central and MTV off the air is another example of a cable company
overreaching for profit at the expense of its viewers.

The
renewal we are seeking is reasonable and modest relative to the profits
TWC enjoys from our networks. We have asked for an increase of less
than 25 cents per month, per subscriber, which adds up to less than a
penny per day for all 19 of MTV Networks' channels. We make this
request because TWC has so greatly undervalued our channels for so
long. Americans spend more than 20% of their TV viewing time watching
our networks, yet our fees amount to less than 2.5% of what Time Warner
generates from their average customer.

Throughout
the country, we have negotiated equitable license agreement renewals,
or are in the final stages of renewals, with virtually every cable and
satellite carrier. Nevertheless, Time Warner Cable has dismissed our
efforts at a fair compromise and has effectively chosen to deny its
customers some of the most popular TV shows on the air.

As a result,
we are sorry to say that for Time Warner Cable customers our networks
will go dark as of 12:01 on January 1st, denying Time Warner customers
shows like Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and The Hills.

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.

Time
Warner Cable subscribers who are being handed a January 1st $3 monthly
increase in Raleigh, Orange County, Los Angeles, and New York City are
simultaneously facing the removal of beloved shows across 19 channels.

We
find it a shame that Time Warner Cable remains unreasonable at this
time. We hope its leadership will have a change of heart and will seek
to negotiate a fair renewal agreement.

http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/happy-new-year-time-warner-cable-to-yank-mtv-nickeodeon-comedy-central-off-the

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