Comcast, Discovery Renew Carriage Agreement

Discovery Communications and Comcast have renewed a carriage agreement, finalizing a contract that had been watched closely by executives in the media industry.

The new deal comes after Discovery’s chief executive, David Zaslav, took issue with the cable giant’s proposed pact to acquire Time Warner Cable earlier in the year, voicing concern in various investor forums. Discovery said it had “critical issues” with the size of a combined Comcast-TW Cable distribution pipeline. Comcast dropped its $45 billion bid to merge with TW Cable in April.

The two companies said in a statement that they signed a “long-term, comprehensive renewal” that will bring Discovery’s 12 U.S. networks to Comcast’s Xfinity cable subscribers.

The renewal also includes rights to transmit the Discovery networks via streaming video to Comcast subscribers who can authenticate their status as customers. Discovery has been granting those rights in various carriage agreements it has signed in the recent past, including those made with Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, and some smaller entities like Suddenlink.

The companies’ previous deal expired earlier this year.

Discovery investors had been watching to see when and how a new agreement might be struck. Discovery’s networks, like those owned by others in the industry, have been grappling with ratings choppiness as TV viewers gain access to their favorite programming by other means that are not measured as broadly as traditional TV-watching. The new agreement with Comcast is expected to generate higher fees for Discovery over time, according to a person familiar with the situation, though meaningful increases may not be noticeable until the early part of 2016.

[Updated, 8:02 AM PT]


More TV

  • MAKING IT -- Season: 1 --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces 'Making It' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, NBC announced the “Making It” Season 2 premiere date and HBO Max greenlit a new docuseries from Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti. DATES Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman will return with the second season of “Making It” on NBC Dec. 2. After the show’s holiday season premiere, the show [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

  • TV Review: 'Catherine the Great' Starring

    TV Review: 'Catherine the Great' Starring Helen Mirren

    For some, “Dame Helen Mirren playing the Catherine the Great” is all the convincing they’ll need to watch this new biographical limited series, which is perfectly understandable. The casting of Mirren in the role, which follows the Russian empress in the embattled latter years of her life, is a smart choice that proves its worth [...]

  • Ricky Martin Celia Cruz Gloria Estefan

    From Idea to Legacy: Latin Grammy Awards Mark 20 Years of Global Recognition

    The idea of creating a separate organization to honor the diversity of Latin music was a discussion that took place for years before it actually happened, but an event driven by one of pop music’s most important crossover artists solidified it. During the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony, a young Ricky Martin was scheduled to perform [...]

  • Science Fair

    Disney Plus Fleshes Out Nonfiction Slate, Including 'Howard,' 'Science Fair,' Mickey Mouse Docu

    Disney Plus further fleshed out its nonfiction content slate at an International Documentary Association showcase event Friday, as the streamer, preparing for its Nov. 12 launch, continues to flesh out its programming strategy. Among the announcements: The streamer has acquired the global distribution rights to “Howard,” the Don Hahn-directed documentary about “Aladdin” and “Beauty and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content