Words by Ime Ekpo
Past week, social media users, at most Instagram users, have been hit with advertisements from television networks pleading viewers who are Spectrum customers to contact Spectrum and insisted keeping their beloved Viacom channels in the likes of MTV, VH1, BET, Nickelodeon, Spike, Comedy Central and over 20 more channels. This means for many, the chance of watching Hip-Hop Squares, the Love and Hip-Hop series and reruns of Family Guy will no longer be.
A contract dispute has surfaced between Viacom and Spectrum’s parent company Charter Communications. Charter Communications is a telecommunications company that provides multichannel video service under the umbrella of the Spectrum brand. On Sunday, October 15th, the contract between Viacom and Charter’s distribution deal expired, leaving roughly 16.5 million Spectrum customers in line of losing over 20 channels.
Even though Charter Communications agreed to extend carriage talks, Viacom has reportedly presented a class of offers for a new deal with Charter, but the offers were not up to par with Charter’s requirements.
“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. 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,” says Viacom in a recent statement.
So far, an agreement has been made to keep networks like Comedy Central and Nickelodeon on air, but it seems like the evolution of social media and smartphones are causing Viacom to fall into a hinge. This past May, Charter placed Viacom networks on a higher priced tier for the sake of balancing the costs while maintaining their subscriber base. Despite MTV and other Viacom channels not being available on subscription streaming TV services like YouTube TV and Hulu, tv viewers still find these services worthy and subscription streaming services may soon become a high threat to cable providers.