North State TV customers may lose access to channels

Mar. 27, 2014 @ 11:13 AM

Television customers of North State may lose access early next week to two dozen channels because of a national dispute between cable TV providers and Viacom.

The channels would go off air at midnight Monday if a dispute isn’t resolved between the National Cable Television Cooperative and Viacom over how much cable providers pay Viacom to show their programs, North State announced Thursday. North State is a member of the cooperative, a national not-for-profit group that negotiates programming fees for more than 800 independent TV operators across the country.
The channels that may be pulled are: BET, Centric, Country Music Television, CMT Pure Country, Comedy Central, EPIX, Logo TV, MTV, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV2, MTV Tr3s, MTVU, Nick Jr., Nick2, Nickelodeon, NickToons, Palladia, Spike TV, Teen Nick, TV Land, VH1, VH1 Classic and VH1 Soul.
The dispute between the cooperative and Viacom could affect more than 5 million TV customers nationwide.
“If Viacom removes their channels on Monday night, this will be the first time a programmer has done this since North State began offering TV,” according to the High Point-based telecommunications company.
“We hope that a favorable agreement between NCTC and Viacom will be reached before Monday,” said Royster Tucker, North State president and chief executive officer. “Our goal is to protect our customers from significant programming fee increases. We pay programmers such as Viacom a fee per channel per month per customer for their programming. When these contracts conclude, we negotiate new agreements. But, when a multibillion dollar company such as Viacom demands an unprecedented increase in its monthly fees, we believe it’s our responsibility to take a stand.”
A Viacom spokeswoman said that the company didn’t have any public comment on the matter.