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Suddenlink has imported the Comedy TV network;, Nickelodeon has been replaced with Sprout; and other channels have been replaced by lesser-known but often more family-friendly alternatives.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.