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Cablevision, Viacom reach carriage deal

SpongeBob SquarePants is at the center of a

SpongeBob SquarePants is at the center of a controversy. Yes, we are talking about the cartoon... (Credit: AP, 2009)

Some good news to bring in the new year -- Viacom and Cablevision have reached a deal for carriage of some of TV's premiere channels (don't know about you, but Comedy Central and Nick are essential destinations in my household . . .). The quick story in Tuesday's Jan. 1 paper:

Cablevision and Viacom late yesterday reached an agreement to continue the carriage of a number of major networks, including Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. In a statement last night, Cablevision -- which owns Newsday -- called the deal “a long-term agreement that ensures no disruption of Viacom programming for Cablevision customers.” A handful of news reports late last week indicated both sides had reached an impasse. DirecTV dropped 26 Viacom-owned networks for nine days in July over a fee dispute. Per the Cablevision statement, “no further terms will be disclosed.”

The aforementioned “news report?” The New York Post which indicated that the Viacom networks might be pulled at midnight. For perspective, all of these deals are difficult and complicated, while Fox and Cablevision had a bruising battle a couple of falls ago. But the difference then was this: Fox was attempting to get fees for the retransmission of its TV station signals. No so-called re-trans fees for TV stations were sought this time because Viacom owns no TV stations. (When it split from CBS, the latter took control of the stations.) Besides the above mentioned, the key Viacom assets include BET, CMT, MTV, VH1, TV Land, and Logo.

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