Charter Spectrum and Viacom have reportedly extended the deadline for negotiations that could cause 23 cable network channels to go dark.
The current contract expired Sunday night, but the two parties are rumored to have extended negotiations to avoid a blackout.
Viacom Inc and Charter Communications Inc agreed on a short-term extension of their renewal deadline, a source familiar with the matter said, as the companies aim to avoid the immediate blackout of Viacom networks.
Viacom took its side of the dispute public by launching ad campaigns on all of its channels and issuing public statements.
“Viacom has made a series of very attractive offers to Charter that are consistent with terms we’ve recently reached with other large cable operators,” the company said in a statement. “Importantly, these offers would enable Charter to lower Spectrum subscribers’ bills, while also giving them more access to shows across Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, Comedy Central and other Viacom networks.”
Spectrum responded to the ads and public statements by complaining about Viacom’s public approach to contract talks.
“Unfortunately, by threatening to pull their channels, Viacom is dragging you into the middle of their business negotiations,” Spectrum posted in an online statement. “We are negotiating with them in good faith and are optimistic that a fair deal can be reached.”
Viacom went even further recently slamming the cable giant for bad service, rate hikes and more ever since the Time Warner / Charter merger last year.
“Since the merger, conditions for many 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 in a statement posted online about the negotiations.
The networks that will go dark if the dispute isn’t resolved are: MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1, BET, CMT, Spike, Nick Jr., TV Land, Logo, MTV2, Nicktoons, TeenNick, MTV Classic, NickMusic, MTV Live, BET Her, CMT Music, BET Jams, Tr3s, BET Soul, Nick 2 and MTVU.