Viacom Blocks Suddenlink Broadband Customers from Online TV Shows

Viacom Blocks Suddenlink Broadband Customers from

Viacom, engaged in a contract dispute with Suddenlink Communications, is preventing the midsize cable operator’s broadband customers from accessing its online properties — a tactic the programmer has used in past carriage fights.

As of midnight Tuesday, Suddenlink’s TV subscribers no longer had access to Viacom’s cable nets, including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, after the parties were unable to reach terms on a new agreement.

Viacom subsequently blocked access for Suddenlink’s Internet customers to Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” (pictured above), as well as episodes on MTV.com, Nick.com, CC.com and VH1.com. The blockade affects all of the MSO’s broadband customers, including those who don’t subscribe to TV service.

Similarly, in 2012, Viacom pulled dozens of free, full-length eps from its websites during a carriage battle with DirecTV, a move that affected all Internet users. Other programmers have done the same thing: During the war between CBS and Time Warner Cable last year, the Eye retaliated by blocking all TW Cable broadband customers from accessing full episodes of shows on CBS.com and mobile apps.

SEE ALSO: Suddenlink Launches Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze After Removing Viacom Outlets

In a message on its website dedicated to the standoff, Suddenlink said that Viacom was preventing broadband subs from accessing shows on its websites. “In doing this, Viacom is violating the principles of an open Internet. If you agree, please consider contacting the FCC,” the cable company said.

Asked for a response, Viacom said: “Suddenlink abruptly decided to end our relationship, which has resulted in the continued interruption of Viacom programming across platforms, including online, through Suddenlink.”

Suddenlink noted that Viacom’s shows “may be available through YouTube, Hulu, Hulu Plus, Amazon, Amazon Prime, iTunes or other Internet sources.”

Meanwhile, Viacom said that its content is available “through hundreds of partners, including cable, satellite and many online destinations. Customers of these partners receive robust access to our programming, through a variety of audience-friendly distribution agreements that can include television, online and VOD offerings.”

Viacom’s move, as with the CBS blocking of TW Cable subs, points up the “flawed” logic in the FCC’s ongoing net neutrality proceedings, according to BTIG Research analyst Rich Greenfield. In his opinion, Internet service providers and content companies should be governed by the same rules.

“Importantly, CBS and Viacom disabled access to content for all ISP customers, even if those ISP subscribers did not take a video programming package,” he wrote in a blog post. “In essence, CBS and Viacom are taxing ISPs for content they make freely available on the web.”

Suddenlink has about 1.4 million residential and commercial customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and elsewhere.

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  1. Paul Janezich says:

    That’s good anyways one less app for me to run and use up my data since suddenlink data caps and has been for a while! Crappy thing is Suddenlink employees don’t even tell you until after you get internet service through them!!!

  2. Gene says:

    This needs to become a three-way fight: Viacom, Suddenlink and the other TV/cable providers. I pay DirecTV for TV content but use Suddenlink for internet access. Due to the fight between Viacom and Suddenlink, I’m unable to watch content that I have paid for through another TV operator. Personally, I’m more likely to cancel DirecTV than change internet service providers, considering they’re really the only option in my area.

  3. joe says:

    it is simple if i cant see the program i will not buy any thing advertised on the shows i can’t see so advertisers and merchants lose billions from like minded people

  4. John Smith says:

    I have satellite television and use suddenlink for internet. So I am paying for Viacom channels but can’t access their online content – so I am done. Either I’ll reduce my package to exclude viacom or I’ll pull the plug altogether. Stupid move by Viacom!!

  5. Toonedout says:

    Do you know what I’m sick of? Being dragged into these cable channel disputes like it’s the customers job to fix what’s wrong in the board room. We pay almost $200 a month for our service and I’m sick of not getting it. I’m ready to start pulling plugs, I’ve had it! No Comedy Central is a deal breaker for me! I’m done!

  6. Maybe sudden link should post a link to live stream, pirate bay and other torrents to these TV shows on their home page.

  7. Brian says:

    Regardless of who you side with, this tactic effects all of the wrong people. I am a DirecTV subscriber, and I pay for these channels. HOWEVER, Suddenlink is our only option as an internet provider. So, Viacom has blocked our access (kids apps, watching Nickelodeon on ipads, etc), even though we pay for the services through DirecTV. We have to sign in with our DirecTV account, yet we get blocked with a message saying Suudenlink customers have lost the channels. It’s assinine.

    • Jimmie says:

      Not that any of this is right… I’m pissed too. This isn’t a fair and permanent solution but buy a vpn for 6$ a month some are free I like cyberghost and PIA. I wouldn’t have switched to sudden link knowing this I had frontier they should have told me wrong so greedy.. anyway hope this helps also Amazon prime has lots of Nickelodeon program s for the kids as for the rest I noticed Viacom took most of their program s off hulu plus forget the fact I pay 8$ right … they are like kids on a playground trying to one up each other , the ones that lose CUSTOMERS

  8. I agree with Shawn and have posted it on my blog. Us, the Sudden Link customers, are the victimized children in the divorce between these two companies. I will say this…I haven’t missed the Viacom channels yet. My son who first whined about TMNT on Tuesday hasn’t mentioned them since.

  9. Shawn says:

    Reading some of these comments reminds me that Suddenlink is going to have their employees out trying to spin this as a good thing through “anonymous” comments, left on multiple websites. Neither Viacom OR Suddenlink are the “innocent parties”. They’re playing a game and using customers as pawns. If Suddenlink is trying to save their customers, Then why is it that Suddenlink is NOT passing that “savings” on to customers for the pitiful channels they’ve put on as replacements? Quit trying to act like Suddenlink is some “David” against Viacom’s “Goliath”, they’re both greedy companies trying to squeeze every cent out of their customers and only pretend to care when those customers start walking away. I am (for the moment) a Suddenlink customer (internet) and the only things worse than this situation, are the constant commercials and “glad-handing” nonsense that Suddenlink is doing while trying to portray themselves as “caring”. To any Suddenlink customer who reads this: What they did violates their terms of service and leaves you an “out” to get out of any cable contract you may have! This has been such an annoyance, that I’m probably going to change my internet provider out of dissatisfaction in general.

  10. Steve says:

    Good for Suddenlink. Hopefully customers are finally getting the picture regarding the media company extortion that has been going on for the last few years. It is unsustainable, and has driven up costs beyond what most consumers are willing to pay. I hope that Suddenlink’s customers will continue to be supportive of the company’s position. Until distributors and their customers are willing to stand up to the media bullies, prices will continue to rise, and ironically, programming will not increase in quality. Jon Stewart does not need more money to spew the toxic nonsense he does masquerading as a comedian.

    • Shawn says:

      So, you’re okay with this because you disagree, politically, with Jon Stewart?!? Well, I guess I just found one of the three people who were okay with replacing the Spike channel with Glen Beck’s channel……………………..

      • Shawn…I was a DirecTV customer a couple of years ago when Viacom did the same thing with DirecTV. I hated DirecTV enough to side with Viacom in the dispute and started to side with them again in this dispute…until I went to KeepViacom.com and started wondering what was going on.

  11. Beverly says:

    Suddenly did not tell customers about losing channels until the day it was supposes to happen. I don’t feel this is good customer service on their part to keep us in the dark

  12. Galaxie500 says:

    Way to go Suddenlink – I will remain a Suddenlink customer. Viacom is greedy in my opinion. I contacted Suddenlink and was told that Viacom wanted to raise the rates by 50%. Suddenlink did not want to pass on the rate increase to their customers. I believe Viacom is the bad guy in this situation especially since they have pulled this with other providers. Keep your channels, Viacom.

  13. fred whocares says:

    Great! :-) every time Viacom contracts come up for renew they use these strong arm tactics. .I know this is true because Viacom is always broadcasting warnings that say another cable company customers are about to loose their channels. I’ve got to give to suddenlink (as a suddenlink customer) for standing up to these bullies.

    • john ross says:

      @fred…..and you think Suddenlink is not greedy….BS….they all are….Just wish I could use an outside antenna and find a decent internet carrier where I am. Suddenlink has us by the gonads and they know it.

    • Sherry says:

      I agree with you. It’s about time one of these providers stood up to the networks! The providers are customers to the network and look how they treat their customers! Good for you suddenlink! I certainly won’t be missing any of viacoms channels.

  14. Reblogged this on Poems and Other S%$# by James Jackson and commented:
    I used to have suddenlink, i feel bad for humboldt county

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