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Time Warner Cable and Viacom reach deal

Los Angeles_Time Warner Cable Inc. says it has reached a deal with Viacom Inc. on carriage fees, avoiding a blackout of 19 cable channels including MTV and Comedy Central.

The two sides, citing disagreement over fee hikes, had threatened a damaging blackout at midnight that would have cut off shows such as "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "The Colbert Report" to about 15.7 million subscribers.

Shortly after agreeing to extend a midnight deadline by an hour, Time Warner Cable spokesman Alex Dudley said the sides agreed on a new contract.

Details of the deal were not immediately available.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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