Five years ago, a nasty carriage feud between Time Warner Cable and Viacom brought Dora the Explorer to tears. This time around, the two sides hashed out a new affiliate agreement without causing undue distress to any Nickelodeon fans—animated or otherwise.
In a joint statement issued Tuesday, both parties announced a new multiyear renewal of their distribution contract, securing carriage of the Viacom networks in all homes served by Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.
The original agreement was set to expire at the end of the year. While terms were not disclosed, the new deal will see TWC carrying the premium movie service Epix for the first time. A joint venture of Viacom, MGM and Lionsgate, Epix now reaches around 30 million households.
The programmer and the cable giant also came to terms on a once-controversial app that allows subscribers to stream video content to iPads and other tablet devices. Some 30 months ago, shortly after TWC announced plans to roll out its live-streaming app, Viacom began to make rumblings about the legality of the proposed service.
The matter was settled out of court in May 2012, with neither side conceding its original legal position.
The new carriage pact covers all Viacom cable properties, including MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central.
“We’re committed to serving our audiences on every screen, as they continue to drive the evolution of how video content is experienced,” said Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, by way of announcing the deal. Meanwhile, Melinda Witmer, evp and chief video and content officer for TWC, said the operator was “pleased to have reached agreement in advance of our deadline.”
While cable’s latest major affiliate deal appears to have gone off without a hitch, Time Warner understandably may have been averse to engage in yet another protracted distribution scrap. Following a monthlong standoff with CBS that led to blackouts in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, TWC in the third quarter lost 306,000 video subscribers and $122 million.