Spectrum customers may lose MTV, Nick, more channels in contract dispute

Viacom said it has made "a series of very attractive offers" to Charter, which has turned them down.

Viacom Inc, the owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, said on Wednesday it was unable to come to a distribution deal with Charter Communications as part of its ongoing negotiations with the cable television distributor. "While we're making every effort to reach a new deal, Charter's actions may force a disruption in their service".

Viacom, facing being kicked off Charter Communications' cable systems when its distribution agreement expires on October 15, says that under the proposals it has made Charter would pay less for Viacom's channel than it now pays. A blackout would affect 16.5 million subscribers, thanks to the company's expansion when it bought Time Warner Cable past year.

Earlier this year, Charter moved Viacom's flagship networks to its most expensive programming tier, a move that threatened the media company's affiliate and advertising revenue.

Charter spokesman Joe Durkin declined to comment.

This marks the first major affiliate dispute for Viacom since CEO Bob Bakish took over past year. Bakish has made it a priority to improve relations with distributors.

Like many of its peers, Viacom is struggling to keep viewers as more watch on smartphones and tablets.

Shares of Viacom were marginally down in extended trading, while Charter shares were unaffected.