Viacom, Charter Communications Agree to Extension in Carriage Talks

Viacom and Charter Communications agreed on a short-term extension of their renewal deadline, a source familiar with the matter said, as the companies aim to avoid the immediate blackout of Viacom networks. Spectrum is owned by Charter Communications Inc.

"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".

If no deal is reached, 16.6 million subscribers of Charter's Spectrum service will lose Viacom's networks, which include Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon.

Viacom released a statement saying, "Viacom is committed to developing strong, mutually beneficial relationships with our distribution partners".

The cable company added Charter "continues to insist on unreasonable and extreme terms" that could result in customers seeing a "disruption in their service".

"Unfortunately, by threatening to pull their channels, Viacom is dragging you into the middle of their business negotiations", Spectrum posted in an online statement.

Spectrum says their parent company is operating in good faith and remain optimistic a fair deal can be reached soon.

Viacom has been running advertisements over the weekend on the channels asking subscribers to call Spectrum and complain, with some of the ads looking like breaking news crawls that run on the bottom of the screen during programming. The nation's leading companies' current deal is set to expire on Sunday, and more than 16.5 million customers could be affected by the blackout if Viacom and Charter can't settle their dispute over channel pricing.

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