Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Viacom to pull networks from Time Warner Cable

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Viacom Inc on Tuesday said it will pull its cable television networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV, off Time Warner Cable if the companies do not reach a deal on carriage fees by January 1.

In a statement, Viacom said it is seeking a fee increase of less than 25 cents per month per subscriber from the second-largest U.S. cable operator.

Time Warner Cable says it has 13.3 million video subscribers. Its top markets include New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Cleveland.

"Time Warner Cable has dismissed our efforts at a fair compromise," Viacom said in a statement. "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."

Some of television's most popular shows appear on Viacom's 19 cable TV networks, including "Dora the Explorer," "SpongeBob SquarePants," "The Colbert Report," "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Hills."

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