• Cable Company’s Dropping Viacom Was “The Right Decision”

    by  • August 8, 2015 • Cable Choice • 11 Comments

    When the cable company Suddenlink decided to stop carrying MTV and other graphic channels, critics predicted financial disaster. But it hasn’t worked out that way.


    Last year, Suddenlink Communications – a major cable company that operates in the Midwest and South, primarily from Missouri to Texas – stopped carrying the networks owned by Viacom, including BET, MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Spike, and  TV Land. Suddenlink took this step because Viacom increased the fees it was charging the cable company for the right to carry the networks…increases which Suddenlink refused to pass on to its customers.

    Media critics predicted an outcry from viewers, and a huge drop in subscribers for Suddenlink; but in fact, the cable company has prospered in the wake of the change. As Multichannel News reports, Suddenlink’s CEO Jerry Kent says that the “decision to replace Viacom’s networks with other, supposedly less-popular fare has been the right one both financially and from a customer standpoint.”

    Most of the Viacom networks Suddenlink dropped are notable for their raunchy content. In addition to its Video Music Awards (which this year will once agains star Miley Cyrus), MTV is dominated by shows like Virgin Territory and Snooki & Jwoww; VHI is home to Walk of Shame Shuttle and Dating Naked; and the recently rebranded TV Land is also carrying decidedly non-family programming.   

    In place of Comedy Central, Suddenlink has imported the Comedy TV network;, Nickelodeon has been replaced with Sprout; and other channels have been replaced by lesser-known but often more family-friendly alternatives. This stands as proof that Americans are tired of being forced to pay for content they never asked for and don’t want…and, that if more cable companies refused to pay Hollywood’s extortion, both the companies and consumers would be better off.   



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    11 Responses to Cable Company’s Dropping Viacom Was “The Right Decision”

    1. Doug
      August 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you so much for this information. I wish there were some way I could subscribe to Suddenlink. What a gutsy, bold decision. And, more importantly, the right one. Shame on the rest of our cable companies for not following suit.

    2. Bill Turner
      August 14, 2015 at 9:34 am

      Suddenlink did the right thing by dropping MTV and other such networks.

    3. Peg
      August 14, 2015 at 7:33 am

      So glad somebody is standing up! I wish all cable companies would follow suit.

    4. Becky
      August 14, 2015 at 7:32 am

      I would not miss the Viacom channels. I would be happy to give them up and in fact have blocked some of them from viewing on my tv, while still paying for the trashiness.

    5. Ann Macdonald
      August 14, 2015 at 7:12 am

      I, for one, would not miss any shows on Viacom. I do watch TV Land sometimes for the older sitcoms—but as far as the rest of their stations, their content is graphic and smutty. Many of their stations started out as music entertainment but have become vulgar and aren’t fit for most of us adults—much less the younger people they try to attract.

    6. Susan Sheller
      August 14, 2015 at 7:02 am

      I have DISH network, and I have already blocked these channels from my lineup. Every time a new program is announced that is disgusting, I block the channel and I do NOT go back to check it and unblock it. I have so many good choices out there that are decent, there is no point in keeping the MTV’s or Comedy Central’s of the world!

    7. Wayne Milner
      August 14, 2015 at 6:14 am

      I wish more companies would do this. We need to stop supporting filth.

    8. Marty Feczko
      August 14, 2015 at 5:46 am

      I haven’t missed them for over 15 years.

      I have Direct TV and I built my custom guide that does not include these garbage channels as selections.

      My kids never looked for them or asked for those channels.

      They are now 17, 16, 14, 13, 11, and 8.

    9. Lyn Wheeler
      August 14, 2015 at 5:04 am

      Good for Suddenlink. How do I sign up?

    10. brandon
      August 14, 2015 at 2:09 am

      Also I’m an American and I want shows like South Park & Hannibal. So obviously not all Americans want what you are saying.

    11. Robert
      August 12, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      It’s amazing how so few conglomerates on TV (Viacom, Fox, Turner, ect.), Radio (Clear Channel, Cumulus, ect.) and Movies (20th Century Fox, more), and websites (Yahoo owned by ABC, CBS owns many of the gaming sites, AOL owned by Verizon ect.) control so much of the information that goes to the public, so that, though there are a lot of sources for information, oftentimes the information that goes to the public is limited in nature. Therefore, while people have a bigger variety to choose from, things aren’t as far as we think from the “three channel” days when few conglomerates owned the information, and still do.

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