As discussions continue about a potential deal for control of the CW, network co-owner ViacomCBS has renewed CBS affiliate deals in 39 markets with top station group Nexstar.
The markets reach a combined 14% of the U.S. viewing audience in 17.4 million households. Following three affiliate agreements that were renewed early last year, this new round wraps up all of ViacomCBS and Nexstar’s affiliation renewals.
The renewals, some of which came before their expiration dates, mean Nexstar CBS affiliates will continue to be available via streaming service Paramount+ as well as other internet pay-TV packages. Financial terms were not disclosed.
News of the affiliate process being completed comes just weeks after reports surfaced that Nexstar has been in talks to potentially become the majority owner of the CW. The network launched as a co-venture between CBS and Warner Bros, but current partners ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia have other strategic priorities. None of the participants has commented on the discussions as of yet, but there is a logic to the transaction given that Nexstar has the largest collection of CW stations of any single owner. The company also has a particularly strong balance sheet and has ample resources to swing a large deal, especially one that could enable it to guide programming.
“We are extremely pleased to once again extend our partnership with ViacomCBS and the CBS Television Network on a long-term basis,” said Tom Carter, Nexstar President and Chief Operating Officer. “These new agreements recognize the value of the network’s news, sports, and entertainment programming, and reflect the importance of our stations to CBS and to the viewers of the local communities we serve.”
Ray Hopkins, president of U.S. networks distribution for ViacomCBS, said the deal “demonstrates the power of our collective partnership and our commitment to maintaining strong relationships in order to best serve audiences across the country with leading content.”
The agreement includes renewals for the following CBS affiliates: KTAB in Abilene, TX; KRQE in Albuquerque, NM; WIAT in Birmingham, AL; WVNS in Bluefield-Beckley, WV; WIVB in Buffalo, NY; WCIA in Champaign, IL; WRBL in Columbus, GA; KGPE in Fresno, CA; WANE in Ft. Wayne, IN; KREX in Grand Junction, CO; WFRV in Green Bay, WI; WNCT in Greenville, NC; WSPA in Greenville, SC; KVEO in Harlingen, TX; WHLT in Hattiesburg, MS; WHNT in Huntsville, AL; WTTV in Indianapolis, IN; WJTV in Jackson, MS; WTAJ in Johnstown, PA; KLFY in Lafayette, LA; WLNS in Lansing, MI; KLAS in Las Vegas, NV; KLBK in Lubbock, TX; WREG in Memphis, TN; KXMC in Minot, ND; WKRG in Mobile, AL; WBTW in Myrtle Beach, SC; WMBD in Peoria, IL; KOIN in Portland, OR; WPRI in Providence, RI; WNCN in Raleigh, NC; KCLO in Rapid City, SD; WROC in Rochester, NY; KLST in San Angelo, TX; KELO in Sioux Falls, SD; WJHL in Tri-Cities, TN-VA; and WKBN in Youngstown, OH. The deal also includes two stations owned by Mission Broadcasting, Inc. and operated by Nexstar, KOLR in Springfield, MO and WYOU in Wilkes Barre, PA.
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