Time Warner Cable: Viacom Wants $39 Mil More Annually

Dec 31, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Time Warner Cable says Viacom, which is threatening to pull signals for 19 cable networks from the operator’s system, is seeking $39 million more annually in the companies’ fee dispute.
Viacom plans to remove its channels—including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV—from Time Warner Cable at midnight unless a new carriage deal is struck.
“Viacom claims their demands equate to ‘pennies,’ but that is misleading and insulting to our customers, from whom Viacom is trying to extort another $39 million annually–on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars our customers already pay to Viacom each year,” said Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt in a statement released Wednesday. “That doesn’t sound like pennies to us. Demanding that our customers pay so much more for these few networks would be unreasonable in any economy, but it is particularly outrageous given the current economic conditions.”
Mr. Britt also noted that Viacom has had difficulties growing advertising revenue in recent quarters. Controlling Viacom shareholder Sumner Redstone has also been negotiating to restructure his family company’s debt in order to avoid having to sell Viacom stock.
“We sympathize with the fact that Viacom’s advertising business is suffering and that their networks’ ratings have largely been declining. However, we can’t abide their attempt to make up their lost revenue on the backs of Time Warner Cable customers,” Mr. Britt said.
“We’ve negotiated in good faith and made several concessions to help reach a fair and reasonable deal. We’ve asked for an extension of the current contract while we continue to negotiate. But Viacom doesn’t appear to be interested in what’s fair and reasonable for American consumers–they’re only interested in propping up their sagging bottom line, and they are poised to pull their networks from Time Warner Cable customers tonight.”
Viacom is taking out commercials and print ads, alerting Time Warner Cable subscribers about the dropped networks.

For the latest news on the Viacom-Time Warner Cable fight, click here.
(Edited at 1:52 p.m. ET to add video.)


  1. Time Warner Cable’s refusal to even consider Viacom’s proposed 25%± increase in carriage fees is an action deserving of commendation and a medal. If Viacom wants to demonstrate how much these channels are worth, unpackage them, set a price for each, have TWC add on it’s costs and a modest profit, and agree to an optional carry contract based upon some drop number like less than 10% of cable customers in a service area. Give the same contract to all carriers, cable and satellite. We’ll see if anything but Nick, MTV, and Comedy Central can survive. (And maybe not all of those.)
    Most certainly the time has come to let me subscribe to Comedy Central and dump the rest of those. If I really want to watch Spongebob, I’ll go to the Nick web site.

  2. This is not right to the ones who actually allow Viacom to even make twenty five cents, and that would be the customers. It’s getting pretty rough for customers to even afford the cheapest part of cable. This should not be a legal act for Viacom to make.

  3. Reminds me of the dispute between the unions and the managements. It’s sundown for all of them in a flat world.

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