Time Warner is threatening to pull seven Viacom cable properties, including Comedy Central, off the air as of midnight tonight unless a new deal can be arranged:
Time Warner Cable subscribers could lose “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Dora the Explorer” and Jon Stewart at midnight tonight if the cable company fails to agree on a new contract with one of its biggest suppliers.
Viacom Inc. has threatened to pull its programming in a high-stakes showdown over pricing. Nearly 2 million homes in the Los Angeles area that are customers of Time Warner Cable Inc. could lose such Viacom channels as Nickelodeon, MTV, VH-1, Comedy Central, Spike, TV Land and BET.
Viacom blamed the cable company for the stalemate.
“We’ve been attempting to negotiate in good faith but they seem to have taken it to the brink. Unfortunately, we are now at an impasse,” said Philippe Dauman, chief executive of Viacom. The company’s two-year contract with Time Warner, the nation’s second-largest cable company, which provides service to 12.3 million homes, expires at midnight.