The carriage fee standoff between Cable One and Viacom has resulted in yet another programming blackout.
Cable One has removed its Viacom lineup, which consisted of BET, Centric, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, MTV Hits, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nick Teen, Nick Toons, Spike, TV LAND, VH-1, and VH-1 Classic.
"Despite the fact that viewing is down on 12 of Viacom’s networks, some by as much as 30 percent since 2010, Viacom demanded an increase greater than 100 percent to carry all 15 of their channels,” said Cable One president & CEO Tom Might. “We asked for a price reduction because of their declining viewership and they refused. We also asked to drop the less popular networks and only carry the networks our customers really watch, and the rate they demanded was even higher. That means we would have to pay more, for fewer channels.”
Cable One might be willing to just let the Viacom channels go. The company noted that its customers have been requesting other channels, including BBC America, Sprout, The Blaze, Hallmark Channel, National Geographic, Investigation Discovery, TV One, Sundance and others.
“Our customers understand that we’re fighting to deliver quality TV programming at a reasonable price, and sometimes that means changing our channel line-up,” Might said. “The customer feedback we’ve received throughout these negotiations overwhelmingly told us that customers supported bringing in new channels as opposed to keeping and paying more for the large number of Viacom channels that they just don’t watch.”
The NCTC has been negotiating with Viacom on behalf of Cable One and dozens of other small cable companies who together represent more than 5 million subscribers. Those other companies are also at risk of a Viacom blackout.