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MTV inks 10-year deal with TW Cable

Net joins Disney, Turner, Fox in inking long-term pact

MTV Networks has engineered an unusually long 10-year license deal with Time Warner Cable that will lock in Nickelodeon, MTV, and VH1 to more than 12 million TW subscribers.

Both Time Warner and MTV Networks declined to comment on the financial details, but the deal is part of an overall TW strategy to complete long-term deals with as many cable networks as possible. Recent TW contracts include six- to eight-year agreements with the Disney networks (ESPN, Disney Channel and others), 10-year-plus arrangements with the Turner Networks (among them TBS, CNN, TNT) and similar decades-long deals with the Fox Networks (Fox Family, FX, Fox News Channel, etc.).

Similarly, MTV Networks has also clinched long-term agreements with AT&T’s 11-million-plus cable subscribers and DirecTV’s 8-million-plus satellite-dish owners. MTV sources said the company is in talks with a number of other large multisystem cable operators for renewals of its major networks and carriage of the new ones.

Subscriber boost

In the Time Warner deal, MTV Networks gets an extra 450,000 TW subscribers for VH1, 3 million more subs for TV Land over the next three years and about 200,000 new subs for TNN. Time Warner has also agreed to add the Nick spinoff Noggin, MTV2 (an all-musicvideo network) and VH1 Classic to its various digital tiers.

Sources said there were no retransmission-consent clauses in the contract for CBS-owned TV stations because TW had done these deals late last year before MTV’s parent company Viacom and CBS completed their merger.

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