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Time Warner Cable, Viacom Reach Agreement

Time Warner Cable and Viacom jointly announced January 1 that they have reached an agreement in principle to renew carriage for Viacom's MTV Networks. The companies expect to finalize the details of the agreement over the next several days.

Glenn Britt, President and CEO of Time Warner Cable said in a statement, "We are pleased that our customers will continue to be able to watch the programming they enjoy on MTV Networks. We are sorry they had to endure a day of public disagreement as we worked through this negotiation."

Philippe Dauman, President and CEO of Viacom said in a statement, "We've been partners with Time Warner Cable for a long time, and we're happy to be renewing that partnership for the benefit of their customers and our loyal viewers. It's gratifying that we could reach an agreement that benefits not only our audiences but that is also in the best interest of both of our companies."

Viacom was unable to pull print ads that ran Jan. 1 stating the contrary in New York, NY; Cleveland, OH; Orlando, FL; Dallas, TX and Raleigh, NC, but apologized to Time Warner and viewers for the inconvenience and confusion.

Nineteen channels owned by Viacom, including Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central, were set to go off the air as of Jan. 1, 2009, and both companies ran heavy PR campaigns on New Year's Eve, trying to pressure the other to cave. Viacom was asking for fee increases of between 22 and 36 percent per channel, something Time Warner balked at.

Details of the terms of the deal were not disclosed.