Viacom, Time Warner Cable Fight Over Cost Of Comedy Central, MTV
from the and-so-it-goes dept
And that, actually, is part of the issue. One of TWC's big complaints is that Viacom now offers most of the shows on those channels for free online -- where TWC isn't able to get any of the associated ad revenue. The real question is who is in a stronger bargaining position. If TWC dumps Viacom stations, and people start realizing they're fine with just being able to view the content online, both TWC and Viacom will likely lose out (the ad revenue that Viacom gets online won't come close to matching the carriage fees from TWC). The whole thing is a big game of chicken, but we're going to see it play out many more times, as the relative value of the cable provider as the exclusive delivery mechanism for television content starts to decrease. Of course, that only makes the content companies want to increase prices more to make up for the loss -- and the cycle actually accelerates. Both sides stand to lose out unless new arrangements are reached.