The pact covers 19 basic channels and pay cabler Epix. The deal comes at a time when Viacom has parted ways with other smaller cable operators over cost issues and a reluctance from operators to continue carrying the company’s entire suite of basic channels.
Viacom has been off the air for more than a year on CableOne and since last October on Suddenlink. Those shutdowns have heightened scrutiny of Viacom’s operations and raised questions about whether it is vulnerable to more pricing and volume pushback from MVPDs.
“We appreciate Viacom’s willingness to enter into a reasonable agreement that takes into consideration our consumers’ sensitivity to pricing and the alternative ways content is consumed today,” said Rocco B. Commisso, Mediacom’s founder, chairman and CEO.
Mediacom said the deal gives the operator expanded VOD and TV Everywhere rights to Viacom channels, anchored by Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central. Mediacom had about 891,000 video subscribers at the end of the first quarter spread among smaller cities in 22 states, primarily in the South and Midwest regions.
“We are pleased to have reached a comprehensive deal with Mediacom that delivers strong value for our brands and provides even better ways for Mediacom customers to enjoy their favorite Viacom content,” said Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman. “Mediacom has been an outstanding partner for many years, and we look forward to continuing to grow our businesses together.”
(Pictured: Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants”)