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December 30, 2008

What - No Stewart or Colbert? Viacom Threatens To Yank Programming

The Los Angeles Times reported:

Read more of the Los Angeles Times article.

The Wall Street Journal published a video about the controversy:

So - some families may need to go without Dora or Spongebob to provide some screen time for the kids? Parents won't get to have their daily laughs while watching Steven Colbert or the John Stewart Daily Show? Interesting to see how this plays out, especially because while I do enjoy watching cable daily, I also watch some shows online.

for more details, CLICK HERE to read the press release/statement I somehow received via email on the issue tonight.


"This move by Time Warner Cable to force such channels as Nickelodeon, COMEDY CENTRAL and MTV off the air is another example of a cable company overreaching for profit at the expense of its viewers. 

The renewal we are seeking is reasonable and modest relative to the profits TWC enjoys from our networks. We have asked for an increase of less than 25 cents per month, per subscriber, which adds up to less than a penny per day for all 19 of MTV Networks’ channels.

We make this request because TWC has so greatly undervalued our channels for so long. Americans spend more than 20% of their TV viewing time watching our networks, yet our fees amount to less than 2.5% of what Time Warner generates from their average customer.

Throughout the country, we have negotiated equitable license agreement renewals, or are in the final stages of renewals, with virtually every cable and satellite carrier. Nevertheless, Time Warner Cable has dismissed our efforts at a fair compromise and has effectively chosen to deny its customers some of the most popular TV shows on the air. 

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 , denying Time Warner customers shows like Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and The Hills.

Ultimately, however, if Nickelodeon, COMEDY CENTRAL, MTV and the rest of our programming is discontinued – over less than a penny per day - we believe viewers will see this behavior by their cable company as outrageous.   Time Warner Cable subscribers who are being handed a January 1st $3 monthly increase in Raleigh , Orange County , Los Angeles , and New York City are simultaneously facing the removal of beloved shows across 19 channels.  

We find it a shame that Time Warner Cable remains unreasonable at this time. We hope its leadership will have a change of heart and will seek to negotiate a fair renewal agreement. "



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