Time Warner and Viacom in New Year's Resolution

05 January 2009

NEW YORK: While their kinsfolk gathered to imbibe vast quantities of alcohol and mumble the words to Auld Lang Syne, representatives from Time Warner Cable spent New Year's Eve settling a dispute with their counterparts from Viacom over the rights to broadcast content from the latter's MTV Networks

The two companies had been deadlocked over the amount Time Warner Cable paid for the rights to broadcast 20 cable networks from MTV Networks, including VH1 and Nickelodeon, with a deadline of December 31, 2008 to resolve the matter.

Viacom was originally pursuing an increase of 23 cents (€0.17; £0.16) per Time Warner Cable subscriber, of which there are currently 13.3 million, arguing that the existing contract undervalued MTV Networks' channels.

It even ran newspaper ads encouraging subscribers to Time Warner Cable to protest directly to the company about the potential loss of the channels.

While financial details of the deal have not been released, observers suggest Time Warner Cable will have increased the amount it pays, with the possibility that the charge will be passed to subscribers.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff