Canada's Optik TV Could Pull Spike TV and BET Over Renewal Fee Dispute

An impasse in contract talks has the popular Internet-based service threatening to pull the plug on the Viacom channels Feb. 28.

TORONTO -- Telus’ Internet-based Optik TV service says its subscribers will lose the Viacom-owned Spike TV and BET channels starting Feb. 28.

The threatened dark screen for the American channels, announced to Telus TV subscribers, is due to a contract renewal dispute.

“We wanted to keep these channels but did not want to increase rates, so we chose not to proceed with a new agreement,” a Telus spokesman on Monday told The Hollywood Reporter about the pending loss of service.

Telus added that Spike TV and BET will be unavailable on Optik TV “for the foreseeable future” after Feb. 28, suggesting the threatened blackout could end if both sides resolve their ongoing fee dispute.

Optik TV has aired Spike TV on channel 150 and BET on channel 154.

Telus’ Optik TV service since launching in 2010 has steadily drained subscribers away from a rival TV service run by western Canadian cable giant Shaw Communications.