Comcast Banishes CMT, Spike to Upper Tiers

You'll have to pay more if you want to keep watching those channels.

If you’re a Comcast customer, you’re going to have to pay a little more to watch CMT, Spike, and a few other Viacom-owned cable networks.

Mirroring action taken in the rest of the country, Comcast this month moved the channels out of its basic package and up to more expensive tiers. confirmed the move Monday.

Why the change? Comcast suggested to the New York Post that the cost of keeping those networks on the basic package was out-of-whack with the their viewing numbers. “Our goal is to provide customers with the best value and most viewing choices,” a spokesperson told the paper. “However, due to increasing programming costs, we sometimes need to make adjustments to our channel lineup.”

Viacom is mad, but the move brought praise from — of all sources — BGR, one of the most Comcast-bashingest websites around.

“Comcast is just doing what customers want,” BGR’s Brad Reed wrote.  “The traditional cable bundle has really been coming undone in the past year as more and more premium channels have created their own standalone streaming options that don’t require a cable subscription. Comcast recognizes this and is thus trying to keep its subscribers by offering them pay TV packages that cost less and include a more focused package of channels.

“Or put another way, Comcast is analyzing the current market landscape and responding to its demands. This is exactly how a well run business should operate.”

The new tier for the channels costs subscribers an additional $10 a month. Viacom said it is challenging those decisions. It told RapidTV News: “We continue to address our concerns directly with Comcast and hope their customers will do so as well.”

In Philadelphia, the channel shifts became effective Jan. 14.

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