IS MTV DRAGGING DOWN VIACOM?

The second largest cable company in the U.S. has decided MTV no longer belongs on its basic tier. And with Charter Communications’ jettisoning of Viacom’s channels—BET and VH1 among them—to a high-priced tier, Viacom stock has taken a hit.

New Charter subscribers can receive Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET and Comedy Central only if they pay for the most expensive cable package, Bloomberg reported. The reduction in viewership—still on a years-long decline at MTV—will eventually lead to cuts in fees paid by cable and satellite companies.

Since Monday, Viacom’s stock has dropped from $44.76 to Thursday’s close of $37.85.

Cord-cutting continues to have a detrimental affect on cable and satellite-TV providers as they attempt to re-package channels to lure back lost subscribers. Cable and satellite companies just suffered the worst first quarter of subscriber losses ever, Bloomberg noted.

Without sports, Viacom becomes one of the more vulnerable content providers. In its quarterly results released Thursday, Viacom reported a 4% decline in domestic ad revenue due.

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said on the investors’ call Thursday that the company is dicussing entertainment-only bundles for pay-TV providers that could launch by the end of the year. He also said the Charter situation “will be resolved.”

We'd like to say "stay tuned" but we can't afford the TV Gold plan.

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