Viacom (VIAB) to Cablevision (CVC): Your Math is Incorrect

March 8, 2013 9:30 AM EST Send to a Friend
Viacom (Nasdaq: VIAB) wishes to politely say that Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) is, well, wrong.

According to court documents obtained by the NY Post, Cablevision has said that Viacom is trying to extract a $1 billion "penalty" for not carry all 22 of its cable networks, which would be more than all of its programming budget for an entire year.

Viacom, for its part, said Cablevision's math is incorrect. Viacom claims the cost is the going rate for networks without the large discount carriers get for agreeing to the whole bundle. The $1 billion is over the life of the contract as well.

Cablevision has also stated the most of Viacom's stations have been losing viewers amid the higher carriage fees, saying, "Viacom’s power to coerce Cablevision is vividly illustrated by Viacom’s ability to extract higher prices for networks that nonetheless are experiencing ratings declines."

Countering that claim, a Viacom spokesperson told the Post, "The very same networks they claim have declined are the networks they’re describing as must-haves."

Shares of Viacom are up early, while Cablevision is trading flat.


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