Viacom-Time Warner Fight Autopsy

Jan 6, 2009  •  Post A Comment

As the deadline loomed and Viacom prepared to remove its cable channels from Time Warner Cable over a license-fee dispute, Viacom also was getting ready to take the unusual step of preventing Time Warner Cable broadband subscribers from accessing full episodes of its programs on many of its Web sites.
On MTV.com, a warning appeared Dec. 31 that told users “you will lose your favorite MTV shows on TV and online” if a resolution with Time Warner Cable wasn’t reached.
“While warning consumers of TV content that would be lost is fairly common, this is the first time we have ever seen a content company warn consumers that they would lose access to key Web sites as well,” said analyst Rich Greenfield of Pali Capital.
“While most cable network-related Web sites are not terribly important to consumers, we suspect the loss of Viacom’s Web properties, in particular its Nickelodeon family of Web sites, would be quite challenging for Time Warner Cable,” Mr. Greenfield said. “The younger demographics of Viacom’s cable networks, which have negatively impacted TV ratings (particularly reruns), give Viacom’s online properties unique strength in a programming contract negotiation.”
Mr. Greenfield said Viacom would have blocked access to its episodes by identifying users with IP addresses from Time Warner Cable’s Road Runner service.
He added that control of its Web sites gave Viacom leverage that local stations often don’t have in retransmission disputes, because stations can’t block access to broadcast network programming streamed online.
(Editor: Baumann)


  1. I wish Time Warner wouldn’t have caved in to these money grubing corporations. I think we could all live without their content..FOREVER. I think it is time that consumers start showing these companies that they cannot get away with extortion like this.

  2. Take the poll @ viacomx.com

  3. Is that even legal to do?

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