Viacom, Charter agree to extend renewal deadline, source says

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.

The existing deal was due to expire Sunday, October 15, and had spurred an ugly dispute between Viacom and Charter.

The cable company added Charter "continues to insist on unreasonable and extreme terms" that could result in customers seeing a "disruption in their service". "From unexplained price hikes, spotty service, deceptive consumer messaging, dismal customer service, and employee and labor disputes, Spectrum has consistently been in the news", Viacom says in a statement posted online about the negotiations.

On Twitter, the Spectrum customer support account (Ask_Spectrum) is telling customers, "Spectrum is now working with Viacom to reach an agreement that is fair for everyone", but the warning messages are still present on Viacom channels as of Monday morning. It also launched a website, called Spectrum is owned by Charter Communications Inc.

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The deal between Viacom and Spectrum's parent company, Charter Communications, ends Sunday, which could mean Nickeloden, Nick Jr., MTV, Comedy Central, BET and CMT are no longer available to more than 16 million subscribers.

Variety reports that relations between Viacom and Charter have been strained for awhile.

Last week, the conglomerate began running messages on its channels in Charter homes, informing viewers that Viacom channels will be taken down unless the cable company agrees to what it says are its very reasonable program licensing terms.

It is estimated Spectrum has around 16.6 million subscribers and Reuters reports Viacom stands to lose US$760m, or around 16%, of its annual affiliate revenue if no deal is reached, according to an analyst at Viacom shareholder Gabelli & Co.

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