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Viacom Threatens to Pull Channels From Charter

Viacom is warning viewers that Charter subscribers could soon lose its 23 channels due to a disagreement over carriage fees.

The 23 Viacom channels include such basic cable favorites as Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET and Spike.

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At its web site, KeepViacom.com, the programmer accuses Charter of attempting to use its clout as the nation’s second largest cable operator to force Viacom to accept lower carriage fees. (Charter merged with Time Warner Cable in 2016, giving the company a total of nearly 17 million video subscribers.)

Viacom also says Charter, which is known as Spectrum in its consumer marketing, has delivered inferior service since the merger.

“Since the merger, conditions for many (Charter) Spectrum subscribers have worsened considerably.  From unexplained price hikes, spotty service, deceptive consumer messaging, dismal customer service, and employee and labor disputes, Spectrum has consistently been in the news,” Viacom says at the site.

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Viacom does not say at its KeepViacom.com site when the current carriage agreement between the two companies expires, although Multichannel News reports it’s Sunday.

Charter has not commented on the dispute.

— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (706 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

5 Comments on Viacom Threatens to Pull Channels From Charter

  1. Interesting that Viacom has zero of their channels available in the introductory Spectrum video package, TV Select. In order to get any Viacom channels, you need the second and/or third level programming packages, TV Silver/Tier 1 and TV Gold/Tier 2. Realistically, assuming a $64.99 base price for TV Select, plus the usual $7.50 Broadcast TV surcharge, and the $24.00 additional cost of adding their two digital tiers to cover those Viacom channels, it’s at least $96.00 before equipment lease to get channels like Nickelodeon, Spike, Comedy Central, BET, MTV, VH1, which under Time Warner Cable were “Standard TV” channels… times definitely changed with Spectrum.

    • As a “legacy” Charter subscriber, we basically get all the Viacom channels on Charter Select/Digital View 1.

  2. Good. I won’t miss any of the 20+ Viacom channels.
    While you’re at it, TVAnswerMan, please ask Charter why they won’t give their long-time subscribers NBA TV.

  3. Viacom how much more do you want? Charter at the moment has not reached the level of Infinity yet until then they do not see it as realistic to charge more to their customers. This might not be a bad idea, on the up side more families will spend more time with each. Time to renew that library card.

  4. Viacom does have a point. Charter/Spectrum has made things worse since they bought TWC. My monthly bill went up $30 in January with no explanation, or additional channels, services or improvements. No justification whatsoever, IMO. And Time Warner wasn’t exactly a paragon of value, fairness or customer service to their captive victims to begin with.

    But Viacom isn’t exactly the fair player here. Forcing that all-or-nothing package down Charter’s and OUR throats is truly monopolistic. I only watch Comedy Central, maybe BET on Awards night? (I could live w/o that too). Do I have to pay for the rest of the stuff I don’t watch? Really? I know Viacom isn’t giving the full story on that website and their commercials, but Charter’s keeping silent about this, really speaks more than if they pushed their version of BS. Plenty of bad faith to go around for everyone.

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