Viacom and Comcast Sign Multi-Year Affiliation Agreement
New York, NY and Philadelphia, PA
Deal Includes Long-term Carriage For Viacom Cable and Broadcast Television Properties and the Development of New Video-on-Demand Services
Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) and Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) today announced a multi-year agreement that provides for the long-term carriage of Viacom's cable television networks, for new video on demand (VOD) products for Comcast subscribers, and for analog and digital retransmission consent to Comcast systems for Viacom television stations.
The retransmission consent will make it possible for Comcast subscribers in CBS owned-and-operated markets to receive CBS's industry leading lineup of high definition television programming, including CBS's broadcast of Super Bowl XXXVIII on February 1, 2004.
Additionally, the agreement provides for the joint development of new video-on-demand services for Comcast subscribers featuring popular branded content from CBS News and the MTV Networks family of properties.
The agreements, which are effective immediately, include both extensions of existing carriage deals as well as renewal of expiring affiliate contracts. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the affiliation agreements, Viacom's MTV Networks (including Spike TV, Comedy Central, CMT and the MTVN Digital Suite) and the BET Networks will continue to be available on Comcast systems nationwide.
Additionally, Comcast will augment its digital suite of services by launching Nicktoons and MTV Hits and increasing the distribution of MTV2, Nickelodeon GAS, VH1 Classic and VH1 Country. Mel Karmazin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Viacom, Inc., said, "This company-wide agreement between two industry leaders is unprecedented and is a major extension and enhancement of the long-standing and successful relationship between our two companies. We are very pleased that we can continue to provide Comcast subscribers with Viacom's popular array of high- quality branded entertainment, sports, news and event programming. "Sumner and I want to salute Brian Roberts and the entire Comcast team on their foresight in extending our partnership in a way that will provide substantial value to both companies, and will open up new business opportunities for the future. This is a win/win for Comcast subscribers and for the shareholders of Comcast and Viacom, who can look forward to continued stability and growth from our mutually beneficial relationship."
Comcast President and CEO Brian L. Roberts said, "This agreement is terrific for our customers because it contains rights for exciting HDTV and video on demand programming that we're delivering at no additional charge. Comcast is at the forefront of delivering advanced entertainment services, and this contract provides Viacom's compelling programming to further their appeal. I'd like to thank Mel and Sumner for Viacom's leadership and their partnership with Comcast, and I'm pleased to have successfully concluded another major programming agreement this year."
Viacom is a leading global media company, with preeminent positions in broadcast and cable television, radio, outdoor advertising, and online. With programming that appeals to audiences in every demographic category across virtually all media, the company is a leader in the creation, promotion, and distribution of entertainment, news, sports, music, and comedy. Viacom's well- known brands include CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, VH1, BET, Paramount Pictures, Infinity Broadcasting, Viacom Outdoor, UPN, TV Land, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, Showtime, Blockbuster, and Simon & Schuster. More information about Viacom and its businesses is available at www.viacom.com.
Comcast Corporation (www.comcast.com) is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the provision of programming content. The Company is the largest cable company in the United States, serving more than 21 million cable subscribers. The Company's content businesses include majority ownership of Comcast Spectacor, Comcast SportsNet, E! Entertainment Television, Style, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network and G4. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.