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Spectrum customers can watch BET, CMT, MTV, Nickelodeon – for now

Spectrum customers in the Charlotte area could still watch SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon or Catfish on MTV on Monday.

The channels’ parent company, Viacom, and Spectrum agreed to extend Sunday’s deadline for the channels to go dark for Spectrum customers, while the companies negotiate a new deal for 23 channels, including BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and TV Land.

“Viacom has agreed to a short term extension of our renewal deadline with Charter while we work to reach a mutually beneficial deal,” according to a company statement. Spectrum was formed when Charter merged with Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable.

The company did not elaborate on how long the extension would last.

Viacom had launched a social media campaign and website, keepviacom.com, urging Spectrum customers to reach out to the cable provider.

On Monday morning, Spectrum customers saw TV scrolls across the bottom of the screen on some of the channels at risk for being dropped if a deal between Viacom and the cable provider falls through.

Last week, Viacom said it had made a series of very attractive offers to Charter that are consistent with terms recently reached with other large cable operators.

Viacom also said its offers would allow Spectrum customers to keep the channels, allow Spectrum to lower its customers’ bills and give consumers more choice.

Spectrum launched its own campaign on Saturday and posted a website getthefactsaboutviacom.com.

“Viacom is threatening to remove their channels, unless Spectrum agrees to significantly overpay for them,” Spectrum said on the website. “We are negotiating with them in good faith and are optimistic that a fair deal can be reached.”

Spectrum argued that Viacom has been overpaid for their channels over recent years.

“Their business is suffering and they are trying to boost their bottom line at the expense of you, our customer,” Spectrum wrote. “They’re requiring us to pay for many of their channels, even channels that very few people watch.”

Cassie Cope: 704-358-5926, @cassielcope

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