Viacom-Time Warner Cable in truce

Cable companies finalizing details that will allow TWC customers to keep watching MTV and other Viacom networks.

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Time Warner Cable and Viacom worked Thursday to finalize details on an agreement that will allow TWC customers to continue to watch programming on Viacom's MTV Networks, said TWC president and CEO Glenn Britt.

A source close to the negotiations told CNN that TWC is expected to agree to pay a modest increase to Viacom in the new deal.

The developing agreement is expected to benefit both companies and their audiences, Viacom chief Philippe Dauman said.

On Wednesday, TWC customers faced the prospect that channels such as Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV could go dark as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

The dispute arose after Viacom (VIA.B) announced new fees for carrying its networks - adding up to $39 million a year on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars TWC is already paying to Viacom, according to TWC spokesman Alex Dudley.

Dudley described the 15% overall increase in fees as "unreasonable," since programming rates are declining and the United States is facing terrible economic conditions.

TWC (TWC) - a publicly traded unit of Time Warner (TWX, Fortune 500), the parent company of CNN - says it's working to protect its customers' interests, but Viacom argued the renewal fees were reasonable and modest when considering the profits TWC enjoys from Viacom networks.

According to Viacom, the new fees would amount to less than 2.5% of what TWC generates from their average customer.

Shares of TWC fell 31 cents to $21.45 in Wednesday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The more widely traded class of Viacom stock gained 85 cents to $19.06. To top of page

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