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Consolidated uncertain on dropping 15 Viacom channels

The top telecommunication company in southwest North Dakota is unsure if Viacom will drop 15 major TV networks.

Consolidated is still in negotiations with the mass media company, Business Development Manager Rolan Honeyman said Tuesday.

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Viacom is requesting a fee increase at 40 times the rate of inflation, according to the Dickinson-based company. Honeyman was unsure if or when an agreement would be reached.

The existing agreement expired Monday, but the channels remain on the air for now, Honeyman added. Those networks are BET, Centric, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, MTV Hits, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nick Teen, Nick Toons, Spike, TV LAND, VH1 and VH1 Classic.

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Some companies aren’t negotiating with Viacom.

Phoenix-based Cable One, which serves Fargo, announced Monday it has removed the channels from its lineup.

Cable One President and CEO Tom Might said in a press release the expiration was prompted by Viacom demanding an increase of more than 100 percent to continue carrying the channels.

Based on Viacom’s demands, “declining network ratings” and customer feedback, Cable One said it let the networks go and will work to add other channels, such as BBC America, Sprout, The Blaze, Hallmark Channel, National Geographic, Investigation Discovery, TV One and Sundance.