CBS and Comcast have inked a 10-year retransmission consent agreement. The deal includes expanded distribution for CBS College Sports Network, carriage of The Smithsonian Channel and the full suite of Showtime Networks, as well as–most significantly– new retransmission consent fees for the CBS television stations.
Terms of the agreement were not made public, beyond the fact that it will run through 2020.
Retrans fees are similar to cable carriage fees, in that they are paid by the cable subscriber every month through their bill.
For CBS News, the deal means that the broadcast network will be generating new revenue from the retrans fees, which in turns puts less financial pressure on the news division, which has been hit hard by cutbacks in the last two years.
The Hollywood Reporter’s George Szalai reports that previous deals pegged the network’s retrans deals at around $0.50 per subscriber per month. Considering that Comcast is the country’s largest cable operator, any sort of increase could result in substantial added revenue.
Of course, Comcast is currently in the process of acquiring NBC Universal, which owns one of CBS’ chief competitors, NBC.
CBS AND COMCAST SIGN TEN-YEAR CONTENT CARRIAGE AGREEMENT
NEW YORK and PHILADELPHIA – Aug. 2, 2010 – CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) and Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) today announced a comprehensive, ten-year agreement that provides for retransmission consent of CBS Television Stations until the year 2020. The long-term, wide-ranging pact also includes carriage of the full suite of Showtime Networks, Comcast’s launch of the Smithsonian Channel and expanded distribution of CBS College Sports. In addition, Comcast will have greatly expanded on-demand access to CBS and SHOWTIME content via their cable and online platforms.
“We are very pleased to have reached a long-term agreement with CBS to distribute its valuable programming across our multiple platforms. Les Moonves has been a real leader as the media industry experiments and moves toward delivering content to customers whenever and wherever they want to watch it. We are proud to partner with CBS as we give our customers the content they love on TV, Video on Demand and online,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation. “In this time of rapidly changing technology and viewership interest, we were able to structure a deal that gives customers the content they want without any threat of disrupting their service.”
“This agreement demonstrates the enduring value of CBS’s content across our Company,” said Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation. “Beyond securing another key retransmission consent agreement for CBS Entertainment, News and Sports programming, it also provides for the long-term future of Showtime Network’s original programming and movies on Comcast’s platform, and expands the reach of our growing College Sports and Smithsonian franchises. This deal could not have happened without the vision of Brian Roberts and Steve Burke. We are very pleased that Comcast has confidence in our ability to deliver premium content to its large and loyal subscriber base. I look forward to all that we will do together-across multiple platforms-to offer the audience we share the viewing experiences they’ve come to expect from our two companies.”
About CBS Corporation
CBS Corporation is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and The CW – a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), cable television (Showtime Networks, Smithsonian Networks and CBS College Sports Network), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International and CBS Television Distribution), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), interactive media (CBS Interactive), music (CBS Records), licensing and merchandising (CBS Consumer Products), video/DVD (CBS Home Entertainment), motion pictures (CBS Films) and sustainable media (Ecomedia). For more information, log on to www.cbscorporation.com.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services. With 23.2 million cable customers, 16.4 million high-speed Internet customers, and 8.1 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
Comcast’s content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, 11 regional sports networks operated by Comcast Sports Group and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast’s Internet businesses, including Comcast.net (www.comcast.net). Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, which owns two professional sports teams, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, and a large, multipurpose arena in Philadelphia, the Wachovia Center, and manages other facilities for sporting events, concerts and other events.