Approximately 13 million Time Warner Cable subscribers
may won’t lose their access to Viacom’s cable channels at 12:01 am New Year’s Day 2009.
Updated 1-Jan-2009: Someone blinked! Viacom channels are still on TWC, at least for now. I guess all those people who called Time Warner Cable to complain made some kind of a difference. See the Associate Press article titled Time Warner Cable and Viacom reach deal.
That’s tomorrow morning, folks.
For Hawaii TWC subscribers, that means Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and other channels will go dark unless Time Warner Cable and Viacom’s top management come to an agreement over the carriage fees that Viacom charges Time Warner to include Viacom’s cable channels in Time Warner Cable’s lineup.
Viacom claims that the increased carriage fees would add 25 cents to each subscriber’s a monthly cable bill. Time Warner Cable claims this amounts to US$39 million in extra fees per year. Of course, most if not all of these fees would be passed along to consumers.
For whatever reason, Time Warner Cable management has stopped negotiating.
Of course, at least 1,000 time Warner Cable subscribers on Oahu can’t watch cable television in their homes because their cable boxes were damaged by power surges on Saturday, when Time Warner restored service after the island-wide blackout. The copmany has exhausted its Oahu inventory of DVRs and digital cable boxes and is awaiting a new shipment from the mainland. It’s bad news for folks who wanted to watch football this week.
It’s always a good idea to unplug electronic equipment like cable boxes and cable modems from electrical outlets and input cables during a long blackout. When the cable television lines are restored, there may be an initial power surge that can travel through the cable television system.
This is yet another reason to install and use a surge protector or UPS that has AC power and cable coaxial connections.
See these articles for some more background and updates.
- 27 December 2008: The great 2008 oahu blackout
- Honolulu Star-Bulletin: Surge damages cable boxes
- Nicki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily: UNHAPPY NEW YEAR! Viacom Rejects TWC Extension Offer; Time Warner Cable To Lose Viacom’s MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon & Comedy Central In NY, LA, Everywhere
- Reuters: Viacom, Time Warner Cable help get people out of the house