This will catch the eye of Viacom investors who fear that additional distributors will follow the lead of some relatively small operators that have dropped the entertainment company’s channels. Suddenlink and others that have done so say that Viacom’s price demands are too high for services including Nickelodeon, MTV, and VH1 whose ratings have declined.
This morning’s announcement about Viacom’s renewal with Mediacom is light on specifics about the deal, including how long it will last. The No. 8 operator with about 891,000 TV customers will carry 19 channels as well as Epix — Viacom’s joint venture with Lionsgate and MGM. Mediacom also “will have access to additional programming across devices, including a substantial increase in free VOD and expanded TV Everywhere functionality” enabling subscribers to watch Viacom shows both in and outside of their homes.
“We appreciate Viacom’s willingness to enter into a reasonable agreement that takes into consideration our consumers’ sensitivity to pricing and the alternative ways content is consumed today,” says Mediacom CEO Rocco Commisso.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman calls Mediacom “an outstanding partner for many years, and we look forward to continuing to grow our businesses together.”