Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time Warner at it again...

Cable tussle threatens viewers' favorites

By Lynette Rice
Entertainment Weekly

(Entertainment Weekly) -- Can you live without "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Hills"?

Some of you may have to, if Viacom can't reach a deal by midnight Wednesday that would keep Comedy Central, MTV, and its 18 other networks on Time Warner Cable systems, according to a report in The New York Times.

The conglomerate was expected to take out full-page ads in major newspapers today explaining how fans would suffer if Time Warner refuses to ante up in the new year.

Viacom is home to kiddie powerhouse Nick (aka, the birthplace of "Dora the Explorer," "Drake and Josh," and "Zoey 101") as well as nets like Comedy Central, VH-1, and Spike TV. Time Warner cable systems reportedly reach up to 13 million subscribers.

Viacom believes the fees it receives for the nets are way too low, given how they attract a healthy percentage of eyeballs for Time Warner. The cable operator, in the meantime, is arguing that Viacom's profits are down because of the soft ad market and are desperate to increase revenue elsewhere. Stay tuned.
CNN and Entertainment Weekly are units of Time Warner, as is Time Warner Cable.