NEW YORK (UPI) -- Viacom says Time Warner Cable is overreaching for profit at the expense of its viewers by threatening to drop some of Viacom's channels.
As the two U.S. media giants are trying to hammer out a renewal agreement, Viacom warns Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV may go dark as of 12:01 a.m., Jan. 1, when its contract with Time Warner expires.
Among the shows Time Warner customers may no longer get are "Dora the Explorer," "SpongeBob SquarePants," "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," "The Colbert Report" and "The Hills."
"The renewal we are seeking is reasonable and modest relative to the profits TWC enjoys from our networks. We have asked for an increase of less than 25 cents per month, per subscriber, which adds up to less than a penny per day for all 19 of MTV Networks' channels," Viacom said in a statement.
"We make this request because TWC has so greatly undervalued our channels for so long. Americans spend more than 20 percent of their TV viewing time watching our networks, yet our fees amount to less than 2.5 percent of what Time Warner generates from their average customer," Viacom added. "Throughout the country, we have negotiated equitable license agreement renewals, or are in the final stages of renewals, with virtually every cable and satellite carrier. Nevertheless, Time Warner Cable has dismissed our efforts at a fair compromise and has effectively chosen to deny its customers some of the most popular TV shows on the air."