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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Thursday, January 1, 2009

SpongeBob for everyone!

Before heading into work, I flipped on my TV to see if any Viacom channels had gone black on my Time Warner Cable box.

Imagine my horror when MTV popped on and some skank-a-licious reality TV contestant was giving some hairy dude a backrub, presumably as part of a Tila Tequila marathon or some godforsaken "Hills" spinoff involving made-up words like "bromance."

Hmmm ... maybe we'd all be better off had the plug been pulled.

Anyway, early this morning, Viacom and Time Warner Cable suits settled a dispute over fee hikes in which the cable company threatened to drop MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and 16 other Viacom networks. The details of the deal were not made public, though SpongeBob SquarePants was reported to have shrieked "Wahhhhhhhhh!" in excitement.

Earlier this week, the media conglomerate and the cable operator engaged in a well-publicized spat over how much Time Warner pays to offer Viacom's networks to its nearly 16 million subscribers. Viacom contended that Time Warner was underpaying, given the popularity of its programming; the cable operator accused Viacom of trying to pad its bottom line to make up for slow ad sales.

No harm, no foul, right?

Now go watch that "Brady Bunch" marathon on TV Land while I track down the first baby of the new year for a heartwarming story you just know you're going to want to read tomorrow.

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,

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