updated 11:50 am EST, Wed December 31, 2008
Viacom vs. Time Warner
As soon as January 1st, a number of Time Warner cable subscribers could find themselves without some of the most popular TV channels, writes the LA Times. Viacom -- which owns networks such as Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV -- has threatened to withdraw its programming should it be unable to reach a new contract agreement with Time Warner by midnight of December 31st. "We've been attempting to negotiate in good faith but they seem to taken it to the brink," claims Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.
If no new contract can be reached, some 12.3 million homes around the US will be forced to find alternatives for watching some of the best-rated shows in the country, such as The Colbert Report and The Hills.
A spokesman for Time Warner, Alex Dudley, suggests that Viacom is trying to push for higher fees as a means of compensating for lower advertising revenues. "They are holding our customers hostage for a bunch of networks with sagging ratings and only one or two good channels," says Dudley. "We have to hold the line for our customers."
While Viacom is in fact asking only for an extra 25 cents per month, per customer, Time Warner claims that the impact could force an increase as high as $30 to each subscriber's annual bill.