Goodbye Comedy Central

Update: Viacom and Time Warner Cable reach a deal

If you’re subject to the Time Warner Cable TV monopoly, you might be out of luck if you wanted to watch your favorite shows on Viacom stations like Comedy Central, TMC, MTV, VH1 and more.

Viacom is demanding more money from Time Warner Cable in return for the right to broadcast their TV stations. Time Warner Cable is refusing.

Here are the numbers at issue (via Reuters):

At issue is an extra $35 million to $40 million that Viacom wants Time Warner to pay for carrying its cable channels … Time Warner has refused, saying the economic climate makes it impossible to pass along such costs to its customers.

Viacom is arguing that it deserves more money because viewers spend more than 20 percent of their time with its networks, but its fees amount to less than 2.5 percent of Time Warner’s revenues from customers.

I don’t think either side is right or wrong in this dispute, it’s just businesses fighting to make more money. Time Warner Cable doesn’t want Viacom eating into their profit margins and Viacom is probably looking for a way to make up for falling ad revenue.

Be that as it may, I won’t be too upset if these channels disappear, as long as Time Warner passes some savings on to consumers. The only shows I’ll miss on these networks are the Daily Show and Colbert Report which can be viewed for free on Comedy Central’s website.

You can read more about the cable dispute at the Consumerist.

3 Comments

  1. Daimao

    I was surprised by this, but I don’t really think it will last. I can’t imagine Time Warner customers losing those kinds of high profile networks and sitting still. Honestly though I wouldn’t miss any of those networks, since most of them sold out years ago; it’s really disgusting to see.

  2. Ian

    What networks outside of PBS and CSPAN haven’t sold out? Isn’t that just how television is? They all sell ads to make revenue.

  3. Andrea

    DON’T TAKE AWAY MY COMEDY CENTRAL!!! Really, it’s one of 5 channels I watch. I especially like the stand up on the weekends, which is not provided on the internet.