Television channels owned by the media giant Viacom, including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, may be removed from Dish Network’s roster Thursday because of stalled financial negotiations between the two parties.
According to Viacom, Dish has not “engaged in a serious way to reach an agreement” over the last several months on the fee the TV operator will pay to carry Viacom’s 18 channels. Viacom says that the rate it is asking of Dish is the same amount it asks of larger operators.
Meanwhile, Dish told the Hollywood Reporter that Viacom “is asking hundreds of millions of dollars in increases, despite the changing landscape that includes drastically reduced viewership of Viacom channels and wide availability of their content across multiple platforms, frustrating consumers who don’t want to pay twice for the same content.”
Disputes between pay-TV providers and channel owners are common, and a deal is usually reached before networks go dark. However, a growing number of smaller operators have opted not to keep Viacom’s channels on their dial due to the high content costs. Dish would be the biggest operator by far to dump Viacom if the two parties don’t figure out a deal.