Viacom channels on Vicksburg Video might be zapped

Published 12:51 am Sunday, March 23, 2014

Popular television shows such as “Hot In Cleveland”, “The Daily Show”, “South Park”, “Dora the Explorer” and dozens of other favorites of adults and children alike could be off the air in Vicksburg starting April 1 without a new deal.
Vicksburg Video and Viacom Inc., the parent company of the MTV family of networks, which includes MTV, TV Land, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, VH1 and BET, are in negotiations to extend a contract first inked in 2010 that brought programming on those networks to basic cable.
If no extension is reached by March 31, those channels will go dark on wired cable in Vicksburg. Satellite and fiber optic television providers DirecTV, DISH Network and AT&T U-verse will continue to offer the channels and aren’t affected by the talks.
In a statement, Little Rock, Ark.-based Vicksburg Video said New York-based Viacom has demanded to raise the monthly fee it charges to show the programming, which affects the bulk of customers’ bills. Vicksburg Video has about 8,000 or so customers inside the city of Vicksburg
The dispute has become common in Mississippi TV markets in recent years. Last August, DISH Network and several major network affiliates owned by Raycom, including WLBT 3 in Jackson, took nearly two weeks to renew an agreement to carry programming.
Barely a month later, DISH dropped programming on 20 stations nationwide owned by Media General, including CBS affiliates WJTV-Channel 12 and WHLT in Hattiesburg, when talks on a new deal stalled. The blackout lasted 47 days and involved a complaint by DISH to the Federal Communications Commission before a deal was reached.