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Spectrum customers may lose MTV, Nick, more channels in contract dispute

13 Octobre 2017

The companies have set up dueling websites - for Charter and for Viacom - to make their cases.

Reuters reports Viacom says it's made a series of offers to Charter Communications, Spectrum's parent company, but can not meet Charter's "unreasonable" demands.

Viacom Inc VIAB.O said on Wednesday that Charter Communications CHTR.O subscribers may lose access to its channels such as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeonon as the expiration looms for a distribution deal between the companies.

"Despite our efforts, Charter continues to insist on unreasonable and extreme terms that are totally inconsistent with the market", Viacom said in its statement. "While we're making every effort to reach a new deal, Charter's actions may force a disruption in their service".

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Viacom, facing being kicked off Charter Communications' cable systems when its distribution agreement expires on October 15, says that under the proposals it has made Charter would pay less for Viacom's channel than it now pays. A blackout would affect 16.5 million subscribers, thanks to the company's expansion when it bought Time Warner Cable a year ago.

Viacom says its offers would allow Spectrum customers to keep the channels, allow Spectrum to lower its customers' bills and give consumers more choice.

"They don't have the contractual right to tier our services the way they have", Viacom CEO Bob Bakish told investors in August.