Viacom is threatening to pull MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon and 16 other channels from Time Warner Cable if a new carriage fee deal is not agreed upon by midnight Wednesday.
A Time Warner spokesman says Viacom is seeking "an exorbitant increase in their carriage fees."
Viacom has asked for fee increases of between 22 and 36 percent per channel, adding up to tens of millions of dollars per year, an amount that Time Warner says would cause an increase in customers' cable bills. But Viacom contends that the increases would cost less than 25 cents a month per subscriber.
Tense negotiations are said to be continuing at the highest level.