Viacom webs weave new DirecTV deal

Cable nets in pact include Spike, TV Land, MTV2, Logo

NEW YORK — Viacom has scored an eight-year renewal of its carriage agreement with DirecTV for most of its cable networks, led by MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and Comedy Central, and for the 40 TV stations owned by Viacom.

Deal is a boon for DirecTV because it continues the CBS and UPN programming on Viacom-owned TV stations for the satcaster’s 14.4 million subscribers.

A major addition is carriage of the shows broadcast in high definition by CBS and UPN; DirecTV will stretch its resources to accommodate the extra bandwidth required by the technology.

Viacom benefits in that it keeps just about all of its broadcast and cable programming resources available to DirecTV’s customers. Only Comcast has more subscribers (21 million).

Other Viacom cable networks involved in the deal include Spike TV, TV Land, BET, CMT, Noggin, MTV2, VH1 Classic, Nicktoons, MTV Espanol, MTV Desi and Logo, the just-launched channel targeted to gays and lesbians. A few of the multiplex networks of MTV and VH1 are not included in the contract.

The principals who helped broker the deal are Nicole Browning, president of affiliate sales and marketing for MTV Networks, and Martin D. Franks, exec VP of CBS.

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