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New Year blues: Time Warner might lose MTV, Comedy Central at 12:01 a.m.

Published: Wed, December 31, 2008 @ 9:26 a.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “SpongeBob SquarePants” may be getting squeezed off of Time Warner Cable.

Media giant Viacom Inc. said its Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and 16 other channels will go dark on Time Warner Cable Inc. at 12:01 a.m. Thursday if a new carriage fee deal is not agreed upon by then.

The impasse over carriage fee hikes would mean “SpongeBob” and other shows like “The Daily Show” will be cut off to 13 million subscribers, said spokesman Alex Dudley, a vice president at Time Warner Cable. The nation’s second-largest cable operator primarily serves customers in New York state, the Carolinas, Ohio, Southern California and Texas.

Viacom has asked for fee increases of between 22 percent and 36 percent per channel, an amount that could increase customers’ cable bills, Dudley said. Viacom spokeswoman Kelly McAndrew said the requested increase was in the very low double-digit percentage range.

“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 said the increases would cost an extra 23 cents a month per subscriber — which works out to $35.9 million more in total. 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.

The channels that would be affected are: 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, and VH1 Soul.


1commoncents(53 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Let them drop. We wouldn't be missing much of any value. Viacom has never done anything to improve the quality and variety of their offerings. I hope Time Warner is bold enough to clean up the "cable crap" by dropping Viacom and building around quality programming.

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2WedranPulc(2 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

WTF I pay $125 a month which and extra 25 for my kids to watch cartoons. If I want to have cable boxes in additional rooms I have to pay $8 extra and they are worried about 2 cents bull crap. What the hell are the kids supposed to watch now. Kids love dora, backyardigas, wonder pets all that stuff. This bull. Not enough ratings, what about the discovery channel or all those news channels. Those are depressing why don't you take those instead. This is bull. I will cancel my cable if this happens and I know alot of people would follow. 23 cents is nothing to all the hundreds of dollars they are going to loose. No wonder satelite is beating the cable companies.

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3middleoftheroad(5 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

If Time Warner loses those stations I'm sure they'll find an excuse to raise their monthly rates. Those monthly rates are ridiculas to begin with and their digitial box is #@$##.

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4YoungstownMom(46 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

I currently pay 63 dollars just for basic cable. If they drop those channels, then I will cancel my cable and go to satellite. This is rediculous. We already pay way too much for Time Warner because we have to. They have a monopoly in Youngstown and no other cable company can come in and challange them. I hate Time Warner, but with only 4 local channels and nothing more, what are you supposed to do.

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5scrooge(563 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

YoungstownMom stole my thunder but what the heck...........

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6aeparish(669 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

Even if MTV and VH1 did play videos, it's not like any of them would be worth watching and listening to...

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