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ImOn on Your Side - Cable Programming Disputes

Viacom (MTV Networks):

May 07, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Effective April 22, ImOn began adding new and exciting channels to the ImOn channel lineup. The new channels include many of the most customer requested channels as well as channels with similar genre programming as the replaced Viacom channels.  Of these 14 new channels 6 will be added into the ImOn HD channel lineup.  Now cable TV customers can experience the new and exciting programming with picture quality up to 6 times sharper than standard definition TV.

The following channels have been added to the ImOn channel lineup: 

Added to Local Plus Lineup:

FXX & FXX HD – channel 41 and HD 841
The new cable entertainment network geared toward a young adult audience, the schedule features original series, movies, and acquired series. 

RFD-TV – channel 51
Self coined “Rural America’s Most Important Network,” RFD-TV is a professionally-produced, family-oriented television programming service.

MAVTV – channel 59
High energy, thrill ride network aimed at men. Featuring, insane sports, gadgets, health and fitness, gaming, and comedy.

The Blaze TV – channel 109
A unique destination for news, information and entertainment programs created to engage, enlighten and empower.

Oxygen HD - channel 853
Delivers relevant and engaging content to young women who like to “live out loud.”

Science HD - channel 885
Viewers are immersed in the incredible possibilities of science, from string theory and futuristic cities to accidental discoveries and outrageous inventions.  

Destination America HD - channel 827
The only network to celebrate the people, places and stories of the United States. Shows include, BBQ Pitmasters, Buying the Bayou, and Buying Alaska.

Added to Movies and Music Digital Pack Lineup:

Chiller – channel 124
The only cable channel devoted to delivering viewers round-the-clock scares.

Hallmark Movie Channel – channel 129
Brings  viewers original movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, and presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library. 

Added to Family Digital Pack Lineup:

Nat Geo Wild & Nat Geo Wild HD – channel 96 and HD 896
A sister channel to the National Geographic Channel, focused on animal related programs and real-life animal stories.

Added to Sports and Info Digital Pack Lineup:

Golf HD – channel 833
More LIVE golf coverage than all other networks combined. 

There is still more to come, ImOn will be adding Comedy.TV – channel 54, and PixL – channel 64 through the month of May.

Find out more about the new channels at www.MyImOn.com/newchannels and download a current channel line up HERE.

Please see below a letter from Patrice, our President, concerning the Viacom Progarmming decision.

April 10, 2014

Valued ImOn Customer:

It is time for us to take a stand.

ImOn Communications continues to see dramatic changes in the distribution of cable programming channels. Although we are a small cable company, we negotiate as part of the National Cable Television Cooperative, which gives us the buying power of the fifth largest cable company in the country. In the last three years, even with that buying power, we have seen the cost of cable programming increase 55%. I recognize the magnitude of these increases is at odds with your and my perceived value of much of the programming. I wish that we were permitted to offer programming channels on an a la carte basis so that you could choose the channels you prefer.  But programmers won’t allow that.

This year ImOn faces contract renewals with Viacom, ESPN/Disney, Discovery, and Scripps in addition to retransmission agreements with KWWL and KCRG. We just completed negotiations with Viacom Networks for their fifteen-channel bundle, with only marginal success. In the end, Viacom demanded two price increases over the next seven months totaling over a 50% increase. That is forty times the rate of inflation and inconsistent with significant declines in Nielson ratings of Viacom’s most popular channels MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central. This is not an increase that ImOn can absorb nor is it an increase that I want to pass on to you. An overwhelming majority of you advised us, through a recent survey, to drop the Viacom channels if keeping them forced ImOn to increase prices.

With consideration of all the facts and with your guidance we have made the difficult decision to replace the Viacom Networks programming in our channel lineup. I realize that some of you will be disappointed and I regret the disruption this may cause, especially for families with children. ImOn is committed to providing a channel line-up of quality programming at an affordable price.  The terms of the Viacom Networks renewal did not support this commitment to you.

ImOn is replacing Viacom channels with some new and exciting programming. The new channels include many of the most customer requested channels as well as direct replacement channels. Watch as we add FXX, Nat Geo Wild, Chiller, The Blaze, Hallmark Movie Channel, RFD-TV, MavTV, PixL and Comedy TV. Additionally, the following HD channels will be added to the lineup: Science HD, Destination America HD, Oxygen HD, FXX HD, Golf HD and Nat Geo Wild HD. Click HERE for the details about each new channel.

We also want you to know that there are a number of ways that you can continue to view some of your favorite Viacom programs. Click HERE to learn about other ways you can view Viacom programming online and through your TV.

We are not alone in making this decision. In the last few days we have talked with executives of several other cable companies across the country. Cedar Falls Utilities Cable and Cable One, for example, have announced that they too are replacing Viacom channels. Last year Cablevision, one of the nation’s biggest cable companies, filed suit against Viacom Networks for the right to carry popular channels without full bundle of Viacom Channels. We have been following this action closely. If Cablevision is successful and Viacom Networks programming becomes available a la carte, ImOn will pursue restoring some channels to our lineup.

We are on your side when it comes to keeping our cable TV rates in line with perceived value of the programming delivered. We are actively working with the American Cable Association in lobbying the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Congress for cable legislation reform that is more consumer-friendly. This is a long process, but I want you to know that we are working on your behalf.

Thank you for your continued support and business.

Patrice M. Carroll

Patrice.png

President and CEO
ImOn Communications, LLC

Click the links below to learn more about the new channels replacing the Viacom programming and alternate ways to watch Viacom channels TV programming -

New Channels                        Alternate Viacom Viewing Options

Wednesday, April 9th Update:

ImOn continues to evaluate the economic and non-economic terms outlined in the final proposal from Viacom for continued carriage of their 15 channels. ImOn will announce a decision on whether or not to continue carriage of Viacom’s networks on Thursday, April 10th.

Thursday, April 3rd Update:

After exhaustive negotiations, ImOn has received a final term sheet from Viacom outlining demands for continued carriage of all 15 MTV Networks. The terms of the renewal include a programming increase that, while successfully negotiated down much lower than the initial ask from Viacom, is significantly higher than what ImOn believes to be fair and reasonable. The increase is also much higher than what ImOn has seen from other programming providers. The terms from Viacom also require ImOn to carry, and pay for, all 15 MTV Networks even though there are only a handful of channels our customers are interested in viewing.

Over the next few days, ImOn will be reviewing all the economic and non-economic requirements of the proposed renewal. By April 9th, ImOn will make a decision on whether or not to continue carriage of Viacom’s networks. The decision will be made with the best interests of our customers in mind.

Tuesday April 1st PM Update:

ImOn continues to negotiate in good faith with Viacom. ImOn expects to receive a final proposal from Viacom networks on Wednesday, April 2nd for continued carriage of their networks. While we believe some progress has been made with regard to the programming rates that Viacom has been demanding, the increase Viacom has landed on is still very significant and well above what ImOn has seen from other networks for programming rate increases. ImOn will be reviewing all requirements of the proposed renewal and will be making a decision on whether or not to continue carriage of Viacom’s networks with the best interests of the majority of our customers in mind. ImOn hopes to announce its decision regarding continued carriage of Viacom networks the week of Monday, April 7th. We expect to continue carriage of all Viacom networks during the negotiating and decision making timeline (through Monday, April 7th).

Tuesday April 1st Update:

ImOn's negotiations with Viacom for continued carriage of all 15 MTV Networks went through the night and continue this morning. The channels have not been pulled by Viacom yet and remain available to ImOn customers. We do not believe our customers should be burdened with unreasonable rates for cable TV. To this point Viacom's economic demands have been unacceptable. ImOn is committed to negotiating rates that are fair and reasonable. More updates will be posted throughout the day as negotiations continue.

Monday, March 31st Update:

ImOn continues to negotiate with Viacom for continued carriage of 15 MTV Network channels. We anticipate the negotiations will continue up until the deadline of 11:59pm tonight, March 31st.  Viacom continues to demand an excessive and unreasonable increase for continued carriage of their networks. If ImOn is unable to negotiate a fair deal with Viacom, there is a chance that their channels will go dark overnight. Thank you for your support of ImOn in doing our best to keep cable TV rates reasonable.

BET - channel 64 Nickelodeon - channel 33
Centric - channel 118 Nicktoons - channel 135
CMT - channel 114 Spike - channel 59
Comedy Central - channel 54            Teen Nick - channel 136
MTV - channel 112 TV Land - channel 51
MTV Hits - channel 121 VH1 - channel 113
MTV2 - channel 120 VH1 Classics - channel 122
Nick Jr. - channel 134  

 

Message to our Cable Customers About Current Viacom (MTV Networks) Negotiations

ImOn Communications is currently negotiating a contract renewal with Viacom (MTV Networks) for continued carriage of the following networks: BET, Centric, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV Hits, MTV2, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Spike, Teen Nick, TV Land, VH1 and VH1 Classics.

Viacom (MTV Networks) is demanding an excessive and unreasonable price increase for continued carriage that is 40 times higher than the current rate of inflation. Imagine pulling up to the gas pump and finding that gas has gone from $3.50 a gallon to $6.00 – overnight! That’s the scale of Viacom's proposed rate increase.

Rest assured ImOn is actively negotiating with the best interests of our customers in mind! We do not want our customers burdened with excessive price increases. While ImOn always tries to absorb as much of the cable TV programming rate increases as we can, we cannot absorb this large of an increase Viacom (MTV Networks) is proposing.  

The current contract with Viacom (MTV Networks) is set to expire on Monday, March 31st. While we are hopeful that an agreement can be reached, there is a chance that signals for the following channels will be pulled by Viacom (MTV Networks) causing the channels to go dark starting at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, April 1st if negotiations fail.

BET - channel 64 Nickelodeon - channel 33
Centric - channel 118 Nicktoons - channel 135
CMT - channel 114 Spike - channel 59
Comedy Central - channel 54            Teen Nick - channel 136
MTV - channel 112 TV Land - channel 51
MTV Hits - channel 121 VH1 - channel 113
MTV2 - channel 120 VH1 Classics - channel 122
Nick Jr. - channel 134  

 

ImOn will continue to keep you, our valued customer, updated on the status of the negotiation with Viacom (MTV Networks) through ImOn’s customer portal MyImOn.com. Learn more about cable TV network disputes and what your LOCAL provider is doing to keep costs down by visiting – TVOnMySide.com