Time Warner Cable and Viacom Avoid "Blackout" with Last-Minute Deal
You can disregard Dora's tears if you still see them scattered throughout the Internet. Time Warner Cable Inc. on late Wednesday reached a deal with Viacom Inc. on carriage fees, saving 15.7 million TWC and Bright House Networks subscribers from having to see their MTV, Comedy Central and 17 other channels go dark in the new year.
According to the AP, the handshake agreement on a new contract came after midnight, after the two sides agreed to extend the deadline by an hour. Terms were not immediately disclosed, and a joint statement was expected on Thursday morning.
"We are happy to report that [we]have reached an agreement to ensure that you continue to receive the channels and shows you love," Viacom announced on a website that had been erected to educate consumers on the dispute. "Please disregard any further ads you see that indicate our channels are going off the air. Those ads will come down shortly."
Time Warner had characterized Viacom's request for a 12 percent increase in fees as exorbitant in this economy, and claimed it was a move meant to offset sagging ratings and ad revenue for its programming. Viacom noted that its demanded increase totaled just $2.76 annually per subscriber.