Letter to CBS and Viacom

Today my satellite provider pulled the plug on Viacom stations including MTV, VH1, and Comedy Central. Fortunately the Osbournes season was over, but I will miss The Daily Show. Although some CBS stations were pulled, the Atlanta station is still on. The disagreement stems from CBS charging Dish Network to carry their signal. Not only were they increasing the rate, but also requiring Dish Network to carry their Viacom stations which they also charge for. The end result is everyone pays more for their cable bill. But what bothers me the most is that they charge providers *anything* since they should be getting their revenue from advertisers. CBS makes these signals available free over the air but charge the cable providers to carry them. It makes no sense.

Dear CBS and Viacom,

If you didn’t run commercials on all of your programming then you should be able to charge whatever you want to cable companies to carry your signal just as HBO does. But because you burden your viewers with commericals (more than ever) you should not charge cable or satellite companies anything to carry your signal. Nor should they charge you to carry your signal since you need viewers and they can supply them. I blame CBS and Viacom for the constantly increasing cable and satellite bills. Dish Network on the other hand is trying to look out for its subscribers by resisting your attempts to extract more money from the viewers. I applaud Dish Network and their efforts to keep rates low. And I ask that CBS and Viacom not only go back to their old rates, but stop collecting fees from cable providers altogether and support your programming via the advertising that you subject us to. Until then I will continue to enjoy watching other networks and other programming and watching their commericials.

Thank you for your time,

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