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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Midnight deadline looms in program negotiations

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  • As negotiations contin­ued throughout Monday, it was unclear whether or not Cableone and Viacom would reach an agree­ment before the deadline at midnight eastern time. Viacom has a number of channels on the Cableone programming list, which includes Nickelodean, MTV and the Comedy Channel.
     
    “It is my understanding for some time we have been requesting to start negotiations for the rate,” General Manager David Wall said.
     
    Wall said negotiations are not limited to Cable­one. He also said Cable­one would continue to ne­gotiate in good faith for a solution should Viacom pull its signal at the dead­line Monday evening and would have more infor­mation available today.
     
    In a statement released by Tom Might, Cable One President and CEO, last week, Cableone claimed Viacom wanted a rate in­crease of over 100 per­cent despite most of its channels boasting lower ratings.
     
    “One of the negotiations was to keep some of the more popular channels and they said it was all or nothing,” Wall said.
     
    Might also suggested that if an agreement can’t be reached with Viacom, contracts with other programmers could be signed.
     
    "If we can make negotiations, we will not add channels," Wall said. "If the channels come off, we have a period of time we will continue to negotiate for a period of time." Wall said Cableone learned lessons from its negotiations with Turner Broadcasting in the fall of 2013. And those lessons included customer's frustrations with the prolonged negotiations and the uncertainty of programming. Cableone substituted different channels for Turner programming. But in this situation, a change could prove to be more permanent.
     
    "Unlike the Turner situation, we would expect a reasonable time for them to return to negotiating," Wall said. "But it could happen quickly. We have been talking with other programmers about contracts and this time, once contracts are signed, that is it." Wall said Cableone would have a PowerPoint presentation to provide its side of the negotiations should Viacom turn its signal off Monday evening.

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