OK, so I'm up late watching Rock of Love: Charm School on VH1 and up pops a message on the TV screen notifying me that the network along with MTV, Comedy Central and around 15 others owned by Viacom will be yanked off Time Warner Cable, like, tonight.
As far as I'm concerned, this is a wack move. Say what you want about MTV and its sister stations, but they play big roles in American pop culture. I mean, if I can't see Comedy Central, how will I watch The Colbert Report or Reno 911?
Here's a statement released by Viacom outlining its take on the move off Time Warner:
NEW YORK, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The move by Time Warner Cable to force such channels as Nickelodeon, COMEDY CENTRAL and MTV off the air is another example of a cable company overreaching for profit at the expense of its viewers.
The renewal we are seeking is reasonable and modest relative to the profits TWC enjoys from our networks. We have asked for an increase of less than 25 cents per month, per subscriber, which adds up to less than a penny per day for all 19 of MTV Networks' channels.
We make this request because TWC has so greatly undervalued our channels for so long. Americans spend more than 20% of their TV viewing time watching our networks, yet our fees amount to less than 2.5% of what Time Warner generates from their average customer.
Throughout the country, we have negotiated equitable license agreement renewals, or are in the final stages of renewals, with virtually every cable and satellite carrier. Nevertheless, Time Warner Cable has dismissed our efforts at a fair compromise and has effectively chosen to deny its customers some of the most popular TV shows on the air.
As a result, we are sorry to say that for Time Warner Cable customers our networks will go dark as of 12:01 on January 1st, denying Time Warner customers shows like Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and The Hills.
Ultimately, however, if Nickelodeon, COMEDY CENTRAL, MTV and the rest of our programming is discontinued -- over less than a penny per day -- we believe viewers will see this behavior by their cable company as outrageous. Time Warner Cable subscribers who are being handed a January 1st $3 monthly increase in Raleigh, Orange County, Los Angeles, and New York City are simultaneously facing the removal of beloved shows across 19 channels.
We find it a shame that Time Warner Cable remains unreasonable at this time. We hope its leadership will have a change of heart and will seek to negotiate a fair renewal agreement.
More to come, but for now here's another story about the subject.