Lighten Up Viacom! (Enough with The Annoying Screen Crawl)

I’m on Comcast Cable, fortunately, hence sheltered from the latest Viacom/Time Warner Cable dust-up.  (For background, click here to read Todd Spangler’s article on Multichannel.)

However, apparently Viacom has decided to drag ALL cable viewers through the mud of their dispute with Time Warner.  Last night, while I was minding my own business here in Marin County and watching Viacom-owned Palladia HD (part of MTV Networks), an annoying and disruptive message began crawling across the bottom of the screen.

When the first few words of the crawl appeared, I thought Marin County was under some sort of dire weather alert.

Here’s what the crawl said.  Exclamation points etc. are theirs.

ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!  Attention Time Warner Cable and Bright House customers, starting tonight, you will lose this channel and 18 other channels from your TV including Nickelodeon, Noggin, MTV, VH1, Spike, and Comedy Central and TV Land.  Don’t miss out on your favorite shows. You can stop this! Time Warner Cable customers call 1-800-762-3786, Bright House Networks customers call 1-866-309-3279  and DEMAND THEY KEEP THESE CHANNELS!  Must be at least 18 years old to call. 

When it became obvious that Viacom intended to loop this crawl endlessly throughout the evening, I gave up and switched channels.

I mean, honestly, Viacom.  Lighten up!

ETA:  Multichannel’s Linda Moss reports that the American Cable Association blasted Viacom today for running the crawl.  Says Moss: "The ACA said that its member cable operators had to field angry and concerned calls from non-Time Warner subscribers who feared they would lose channels like MTV and Nickelodeon after Viacom’s cable channels ran the crawl to its more than 82 million subscriber base."

ETA2: Complaints are coming in on Twitter too.  This just in from @vdovault "That crappy Viacom crawl is showing up on DISH Network programming too…"