Time Warner Cable and Viacom work out a new contract

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - For millions of Time Warner Cable subscribers, 2009 won't mean the end of "The Colbert Report" and "SpongeBob SquarePants" thanks to a last-minute deal.

The media giant Viacom Inc. was going to blackout 19 of their channels at the start of 2009 if a new carriage fee deal with Time Warner Cable Inc. was not agreed to by then.

According to the Associated Press, shortly after agreeing to extend a midnight deadline by an hour, Time Warner Cable spokesman Alex Dudley said the sides agreed on a new contract.

Details of the deal were not immediately available.

When Noah Lamberty isn't in pre-school, he's watching Little Bill on the NOGGIN Network.  Due to the contract dispute between Viacom and Time Warner, Noah was worried he wouldn't see Little Bill again.

"I explained to my son this morning, that today was the last day he would watch the NOGGIN Channel, and he was very, very upset," said Noah's mom, Robin Lamberty.

Viacom had threatened to pull the plug on NOGGIN and 18 other cable channels, including MTV and Comedy Central.

"Viacom is asking for nearly three times the amount of money that they are currently getting from Time Warner subscribers," said Marty Feurer with Time Warner Cable. "That's an additional $39 million on top of the hundreds of millions we are already paying."

Several of the networks that were at risk of going black scrolled a message on the bottom of your screen.  It was a message from Viacom asking you to call Time Warner Cable to tell them you still want service on those 19 channels.

Here is a list of the channels that would have gone dark:

  • Nickelodeon
  • Nick at Nite
  • MTV
  • VH-1
  • TV Land
  • Comedy Central

Digital Channels that would have gone dark:

  • Noggin
  • MTV2
  • VH-1 Classics
  • Logo
  • MTV Hits
  • MTV Jams
  • MTV-TR3
  • Nick Too
  • The N
  • CMT Pure Country
  • Palladia
  • VH-1 Soul

Channels that were NOT included:

  • BET
  • BET Jazz
  • CMT