Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central are set to disappear from Time Warner Cable's lineup on Midnight Wednesday, if a deal with Viacom doesn't go through soon.
Viacom wants to charge an extra 25 cents a month for its channels - about $3 a year. Time Warner has come back and said that if Viacom makes good on its threat, other networks will follow suit, ultimately adding nearly $30 a month to your cable bill.
"Advertising revenue stinks so they are looking to stick our customers for the difference," said Alex Dudley, Time Warner Cable spokesman. "They are holding our customers hostage for a bunch of networks with sagging ratings and only one or two good channels. We have to hold the line for our customers."
The interesting angle to this story is that most of Viacom's programming is available absolutely free on the interweb. That means that any smart cable subscriber can just download the programs they'd want to watch anyway, so Viacom's position is decidedly shaky.
Time Warner also doesn't have to worry about the NFL playoffs being pulled, as Viacom no longer owns CBS. That makes the idea of pulling 23 channels for an extra 25 cents seem just a little like money-grabbing.