Still no resolution for Hargray, Viacom ahead of Monday deadline

newsroom@islandpacket.comMarch 30, 2014 

Negotiations affecting several Viacom channels carried by Hargray Communications are ongoing, but a resolution over the pricing dispute doesn't appear to be in sight as the Monday deadline looms.

Hargray's existing contract with Viacom ends Monday. If no agreement is reached, several Viacom channels, including MTV, Comedy Central, CMT, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, TV Land and VH1, could go dark Tuesday.

In a statement released Sunday, Viacom said the National Cable Television Cooperative -- the organization that represents Hargray and 750 cable companies in the negotiations -- was stalling the talks, rather than working for a compromise.

However, a Hargray official said the statement was "just not true."

"It is certainly not true that we are stalling," Hargray vice president of sales and marketing Gerrit Albert said. "(Viacom's actions are) just a tactic to intimidate our customers."

Albert said a website Viacom set up allowing cable customers to check if they are losing channels is misleading, because Hargray and other companies aren't dropping Viacom's channels if no agreement is reached.

"We have no control over that," he said.

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