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      Suddenlink negotiating to keep Viacom channels

      Negotiations continue between Suddenlink and Viacom. The two companies are trying to come to a contract agreement, the contract would allow the cable company to broadcast the television channels owned by Viacom.

      Pete Abel, Senior Vice President of Suddenlink Corporate Communications said the negotiations continue to renew the contract that expires at midnight, this Friday, December 31.

      "Unfortunately, despite a challenging economic environment, Viacom wants a more than 20% overall increase in what they are paid, which includes significant payment for a new network with R-rated programming that our customers have not requested and may not want. "

      Abel also reiterated his previous statement and said that if a deal couldn't be reached and Viacom refused to let Suddenlink air the channels, they will reduce customer prices by the cost of the affected channels for the time period those stations are in the dark.

      "As contract deadlines draw near, Viacom has a history of using scare tactics. For instance, two years ago, with the customers of another cable company, Viacom exploited some of its own characters, like Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants, depicting them as crying over the prospect of being taken 'off the air.' Those tactics were misleading and unfair. First, only Viacom would force its programming 'off the air.' Second, Viacom tried to leverage its children's programming to extract higher payments," said Abel.

      Abel is hopeful that Viacom will negotiate in good faith to establish a new contract with fair and reasonable terms for the customers. He said he will provide further updates when there is a change in the status of the negotiations.

      The following channels are those that are typically featured on Suddenlink's widely available "Expanded Basic" service. MTV, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Comedy Central, Spike TV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Palladia HD, Nick Jr., TeenNick, NickToons, Nick2, MTV Hits, MTV2, MTV Jams, Tr3s, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, and CMT Pure Country.