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DOCOMO Pacific working with Viacom to control rates

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - DOCOMO PACIFIC has joined almost 1,000 cable operators nationwide to control excessive TV network fee increases proposed by Viacom, owner of MTV Networks.  According to a press release from DOCOMO PACIFIC Viacom is demanding a rate increase that is 40 times the rate of standard network inflation. DOCOMO PACIFIC and other cable operators across the country are opposed to the increases to protect their cable subscribers from significant programming fee increases. The fees from these networks account for the bulk of each customer's monthly cable bill. As the largest cable provider of the region, DOCOMO PACIFIC is taking a stand on behalf of the company, customers and community to prevent cable network content giants like Viacom from demanding unreasonable rates from smaller communities. So what does this all mean for you and I? Starting tomorrow cable channels that are supplied by Viacom will be off the air. Those channels include Spike, Nickelodeon, MTV, TV Land, CMT, Comedy Central, VH1, MTV2, MTV Jams, MTV Hits, Logo, Nick Jr, Teen Nick and NickToons. This network "blackout" will affect over five million cable TV subscribers across the nation.  "Guam and Saipan make up just a small part of the U.S. cable industry market and Viacom is a large network provider that is trying to force us and other smaller cable providers into increasing our rates by an outrageous amount. The final agreement will impact your monthly bill and our goal is to provide all of your favorite shows – at a reasonable price. Be assured that we are on your side to make the best deal possible and are working hard to get Viacom to agree to a more reasonable rate increase." Thomas Higa, Chief Marketing Officer, DOCOMO PACIFIC.

Viacom Inc. today issued the following statement on its ongoing distribution negotiations with local cable companies:

"Viacom is committed to serving its audience and has been negotiating tirelessly for months to reach an agreement that will ensure no service interruption of its networks.  We are simply asking your cable provider for fair value for our networks, which continue to deliver more viewers than any other cable programmer, but cost far less to cable companies.  We will work to keep our viewers informed as we approach the March 31st expiration of our contract." 

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