Vyve Broadband, the small-market cable operator headed by former executives at Bresnan Communications, has fired the first shot in what it calls its “TV Revolution” campaign, announcing it will drop several popular Viacom networks it says cost too much and its customers don’t watch.
According to Vyve, it is dropping MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central because of annual programming fee increases announced by Viacom that it said would double rates over the next five years.
“This would significantly increase Vyve customers’ monthly costs, since programming fees account for the bulk of customer bills,” Vyve said in a statement. “In addition to concern about passing these rapidly increasing costs on to its customers, Vyve also took into consideration the declining ratings of Viacom channels. Viacom programming will be removed from Vyve’s cable TV lineup starting May 1.”
In its place will be customer-requested channels like children’s entertainment channels Boomerang and Sprout, family-oriented UP, political news and commentary channel TheBlaze, action oriented family channel MavTV and Hallmark Movie Channel.
“Vyve has received repeated inquiries from customers about adding these channels,” the company said in a statement.
A full list of new and updated channels now available to Vyve customers can be viewed at VyveBroadband.com/TVrevolution.
Vyve, which was formed in 2012, operates in nine states – Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Colorado and Kentucky – joins Phoenix-based Cable One, which dropped the Viacom channels on April 1 because of what it said were exorbitant cost increase demands. That dispute is ongoing.
“Everything we do at Vyve is aimed at creating a customer experience that is unequaled in broadband speed and entertainment value,” said Vyve CEO Jeffrey DeMond in a statement. “The new channels we are introducing offer an exciting range of entertainment options, including many networks that our customers have been asking for. And although it was a difficult decision to remove the Viacom channels, giving in to their demands would have violated our commitment of providing our customers with the best possible product at the greatest value.”
Vyve also launched its own TV Everywhere serv.ice – Watch TV Everywhere – which allows customers to watch certain shows on the Internet on any device.
“In addition, the introduction of Watch TV Everywhere dovetails fantastically with the channel lineup adjustments we’ve made and with the national trend toward offering consumers more programming content through the Internet,” DeMond said. “With a Vyve Broadband connection, our customers have access to a wide array of content, including most Viacom programs, through other online sources, such as Hulu, Hulu Plus, Amazon, iTunes and Netflix — all of which can all be accessed through Vyve’s broadband service.”