Time Warner Cable announced Tuesday that it had reached a multiyear agreement to renew distribution for Viacom Inc., whose networks include MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
Negotiations over the deal, which was reached days before the current deal was set to expire Dec. 31, provided a sharp contrast to the bruising battle Time Warner Cable had with CBS last August over the so-called retransmission fees for CBS shows. Terms of the Viacom deal were not disclosed.
Tension is increasing between the entertainment companies and the cable outlets, with creators of the entertainment pushing for a higher share of the profits by charging the distributors more in retransmission fees.
When Time Warner could not reach a deal with CBS last summer, it blacked out the station for a month in three major markets.
However, there was furious consumer backlash and in early September the two sides reached a deal, largely on CBS’ terms.
In its next quarterly earnings report, Time Warner Cable said it had lost about 300,000 of its 11.7 million subscribers — the steepest quarterly loss of subscribers in its history — and attributed the losses in part to the battle with CBS.
It was clear that Time Warner Cable was looking to avoid a similar experience with Viacom. “We’re pleased to have reached agreement in advance of our deadline,” Melinda Witmer, executive vice president at Time Warner Cable, said in a statement Tuesday.
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