Time Warner, Viacom standoff could cut off 13 million subscribers

By on Dec, 31 2008 with Comment 1

Viacom and Time Warner Cable were at a standoff 12/31 over a dispute that threatens to prevent more than 13 million subscribers from seeing 19 MTV Networks including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. Viacom wants Time Warner to pay an extra $35 million to $40 million for carrying its networks.
 
Time Warner refused, citing the economic climate makes it impossible to pass along the costs to its customers. Viacom also denied Time Warner’s request for an extension of the current terms.

Viacom threatened to pull its networks from Time Warner at midnight 1/1 when the current contract is up, unless a deal was reached.

In the midst of it all, Viacom launched an ad campaign in the NY Times entitled, "Why is Dora crying? Time Warner is taking Dora off the air tonight! Along with 19 of your favorite channels."

Viacom says it deserves a larger revenue share because viewers spend more than 20% of their time with its networks, but its fees amount to less than 2.5% of Time Warner’s revenues from viewers. It believes the additional rate would cost subscribers around 25 cents more per month.

"We sympathize with the fact that Viacom’s advertising business is suffering and that their networks’ ratings have largely been declining," Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said in a statement. "However, we can’t abide their attempt to make up their lost revenue on the backs of Time Warner Cable customers."

Filed Under TV/Cable News

About The Author: Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.

  1. There is no way TWC should take WBTW off. This is the only CBS station and there are plenty of shows on this station I watch. Not to mention football and the CBS evening news. I will be one unhappy customer and will not stay with TWC.





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