With a deadline looming in negotiations between Viacom and Dish Networks, Viacom began running a message on its channels today warning of a possible outage for its cable channels on Dish systems, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Viacom-owned channels including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1 and TV Land could be blacked out if a carriage deal is not reached by the deadline, Wednesday night. The report notes that the companies do not appear to be making much progress.
In a statement, Viacom said: “We are extremely disappointed that Dish has not engaged in a serious way to reach an agreement for Viacom’s No. 1 family of cable networks. This is par for the course for Dish, which has deliberately derailed 10 renewal negotiations since last year by engaging in unproductive discussions and contentious public battles.”
A Dish spokesman is quoted this morning saying that “time remains to reach an agreement,” and adding: “Viacom is asking hundreds of millions of dollars in increases, despite the changing landscape that includes drastically reduced viewership of Viacom channels and wide availability of their content across multiple platforms, frustrating consumers who don’t want to pay twice for the same content. Dish will continue to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement that works for both sides.”