Charter and Viacom have agreed to a “short-term” extension in their carriage agreement, averting a blackout of Viacom’s 23 channels in the cable operator’s lineup for now.
The current carriage pact was set to expire last night, but Viacom released a statement saying the extension had been approved “while we work to reach a mutually beneficial deal.”
Viacom did not reveal the length of the short-term extension.
As it has been its custom in this dispute, Charter did not release a statement on the negotiations.
The 23 Viacom channels that could be removed from Charter if the companies fail to reach a deal include such basic cable favorites as Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET and Spike.
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.)
Charter’s web site, GetthefactsaboutViacom.com, says Viacom “is threatening to remove their channels, unless Spectrum agrees to significantly overpay for them. We are negotiating with them in good faith and are optimistic that a fair deal can be reached.”
— Phillip Swann