Where Are the Ninja Turtles? And Spongebob?

Raise your hand if you are a customer of a multimedia outlet (cable or satellite) who has been at odds with one of the grossly massive (and when I say grossly I mean disgustingly) media conglomerates (Disney, Fox, Viacom, etc.).

Now that we’ve all done the wave and tested our deodorant, I will continue.  When the message aimed at spiking my blood pressure and raising my ire against Sudden Link flashed across my screen, I was taken in like a TV watching, drooling zombie.  Visions raced through my mind of my son not getting to watch Spongebob, Ninja Turtles, Monsters Versus Aliens, Kung Fu Panda, and Backyardigans.  I temporarily downed the shots of Kool-Aid.

With vehemence, I addressed the situation with Sudden Link.  On Tuesday night.  And again this weekend.  Josh, who was also not impressed with the decision for the two to divorce without our just compensation, soon became on the fence of just who was at fault.

I tried to say there were shades of gray of guilt in both of this.  There was, however, regardless of the measure of guilt shared between the two or squarely on the side of one of the two parties, a side of clear, white, shining, pure innocence:  the customer.  In this divorce, we, the Sudden Link customers, were the children of the squabbling parents.  Sudden Link was the stern and matter of fact (“We are getting divorced and there is nothing you can do about it”) parent, whereas the thugs at Viacom were the deadbeat dads who were offering free candy and amusement park rides to those who sided with them.

Both slung mud at the other.

After several days of fuming at Sudden-Link-parent and having unsatisfying conversations with several people at Sudden Link over several days, I finally reached a resolution I could be (sort of) happy with.

But during one of the conversations with the Sudden Link people, one person offered up this interesting tidbit:  Sudden Link had offered Viacom more money (just not as much as they wanted) with the option of having all of the Viacom channels available as a separate pay package.  Viacom refused.  That we would probably have done…paid for channels we now don’t miss.  Then came the point in time when I thought maybe everything was not what I thought it was.

I was still not happy with the bait-and-switch channels.  My son didn’t like Sprout when we had DirecTV (during the Viacom versus DirecTV crisis), and I didn’t like the idea of paying even more for snippets of PBS that I already pay taxes for…on PBS.  And Muffin is four years old; he’s a bit old for Baby First (and didn’t like it when we had DirecTV).  Most of the other channel choices I was not too impressed with…except Hallmark Movie Network (now called Hallmark Movies and Mysteries or Mysteries and Movies)…which wasn’t working.

But that bit about the Viacom pay package stuck in the back of my mind.  Along with the manipulation on both sides to get customers to do what they wanted them to (divorcing parents pitting the child against the other parent).

Then, today, I had my “aha” moment.  I could go to Nick.com and probably access Muffin’s shows.  I go to the website, and I see a multitude of ads and pop ups (that occurred every time I clicked on anything) reminding me that evil Sudden Link took away over 23 channels that I needed desperately.  So I select a video to watch and click.  And up comes a message from Viacom stating that Sudden Link has blocked the video from playing.

Hmm.  This is when my loyalties started to turn.  If Sudden Link had been the villain responsible for this particular act, then wouldn’t they have put a message up?  By contrast, Sudden Link (as of right now) has no mention of Viacom on its homepage.  It’s all over the Viacom pages.  They even prompt you to go to KeepViacom.com.  I thought that was a great idea.  I could contact Viacom from there.  Except…well…you can’t.  You can tweet and post on Facebook your vitriol directed at Sudden Link.  You can read Viacom’s smear campaign directed at Sudden Link (most of which has little to do with the Viacom versus Sudden Link issue).  You can e-mail Sudden Link.

Feeling energized (because obviously, since Viacom doesn’t want to hear from me, I MUST find a way to contact them), I looked up Viacom.  I Googled.  And went to Viacom’s corporate site, clicked “Contact Us,” and spent almost the entire 1,000 character allotment explaining to some Viacom flunky how little I need them.

But I also found another interesting article…one dated over four-and-a-half years ago.  I don’t know how I missed it, but Viacom sued YouTube over copyright infringement, etc.  Think the Napster suits.  Except uglier.  I saw a really REALLY ugly side to Viacom after reading the article that I had seen glimpses of on the Keep Viacom website.

Yah.  I’m over Viacom.  Deadbeat Daddy, I don’t need your cavity-causing snacks and vomit-inducing kiddiepark rides.  I’m tired of your lies, your manipulation, and your “too-big-for-your-britches-ness.”  I’m a Southern mama that wants to tell you from the bottom of your little hearts to bless your little heart.  (all insults intended)

Because, I realized, I don’t miss you.  My husband doesn’t miss you (as you didn’t bring any football-providing channels to the table).  My son hasn’t mentioned you since Tuesday.  You are forgotten except for a bad tummyache.

I also realized, there wasn’t much of you to like.  I used to like Nick at Night when I was a kid and you actually had good old programming on.  What happened to Green Acres?  And Donna Reed?  And The Patty Duke Show?  Oh, wait.  They are now on MeTV and Antenna Channel.  My cable provider provides those.

Comedy Central?  Puhleeze.  Colbert and Jon Stewart make me want to retch.  I will not be one of those tuning in to watch David Letterman’s replacement.  I never liked Chappelle Show (Is it even still on?) or South Park.

Nickelodeon, NickToons, TeenNick:  Well, I’ve never been fond of Spongebob.  We can purchase TMNT eps on Amazon or in the iStore.  Although I really don’t want to give Viacom any more money.

MTV?  Yes.  I want my child watching shows that glorify and promote teenage pregnancy.

VH1?  Daisy (our reality TV diva) prefers Bravo.

Spike?  The last time I checked I was made up of two X-chromosomes.

Honestly?  The only thing Muffin has wanted to watch?  Netflix and Disney Junior the Channel.

Dear Viacom:

We don’t miss ya.  Y’all are obsolete.


(Although we may not keep cable past the last football game aired this season…since that is our reason for keeping cable)


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