CBS and Comcast Sign 10-Year Retrans Agreement
CBS and Comcast today announced a comprehensive, 10-year agreement providing retransmission
consent of the Eye network’s television stations until 2020. The pact also
includes carriage of all the Showtime Networks, the launch of the Smithsonian
Channel, and expanded distribution of CBS College Sports. Comcast in turn will
get more access to CBS and Showtime programming for on-demand cable and online platforms.
The deal comes as Comcast awaits regulatory approval of its proposed majority
acquisition of NBC Universal. The cable operator has stayed out of a movement
led by Time Warner Cable to overhaul retransmission consent rules. TWC, along
with several cable and lobbying groups formed the American Television Alliance
to persuade lawmakers and the Federal Communications Commission to prohibit TV
stations from pulling signals during retrans negotiations.
CBS has 29 owned-and-operated TV stations--14 that program the CBS network and
15 that program The CW. The Smithsonian Channel is a joint venture between
CBS’s Showtime Networks and the eponymous institution. Comcast has 23.2 million
video subscribers, and 16.4 million broadband and 8.1 million voice customers,
plus numerous cable networks and several professional sports teams.
Financial terms of the 10-year agreement between the two were not disclosed.
CBS shares gained 5 percent on the news to reach $15.41 at mid-day. CBS Corp.
stock (NYSE: CBS) is up around 10 percent year-to-date. Comcast shares dipped
by around a nickel to $19.42. Shares of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMSCA) have gained 15
July 29, 2010: “Record Reveals Local
Support for Comcast-NBCU Merger”
The FCC has compiled more than 10,000 filings on the pending merger of the two
media powerhouses. Among them, several municipalities and small organizations
threw their support behind the deal, which is stirring strong-arming fears
among competitors and detractors.