Millions To Lose Viacom Nets Tonight
Unless an eleventh-hour reprieve is granted, all of Viacom's 19 cable channels, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, and Spike, could face elimination at midnight tonight from Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable-TV company behind Comcast. Both sides issued dire warnings of a stalemate in their negotiations, with time Warner claiming that Viacom is asking for exorbitant increases in its carriage fees and Time Warner insisting that its demands are "reasonable and modest," amounting to only 25 cents per subscriber, and that it has been able to negotiate similar raises from other major cable companies. Time Warner executives remained adamant, however, insisting that they would not back down. Time Warner Cable spokesman Alex Dudley told Reuters "It just smacks of desperation from a company that is trying to make up for a failing business model on our subscribers' backs, and we're not going to take it."