Cablevision, Viacom Face New Year's Eve Contract Deadline

Companies Negotiating Renewal for Carriage of 19 Networks
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Cablevision Systems and Viacom headed into the weekend in the midst of negotiating a carriage renewal deal for 19 of the media company’s networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV, with their current agreement set to expire Dec. 31.

Viacom and Cablevision reps declined to comment on the negotiations.

According to a source familiar with the discussions, the two sides are talking but “there’s still plenty of ground to cover.”

In July 2012, Viacom was embroiled in a carriage standoff with DirecTV during which 26 of the media company’s networks went dark for nine days.

Meanwhile, Cablevision has displayed a willingness to let channels go dark in the wake of programming disputes. For example, Tribune Broadcasting Co. pulled its station signals -- including WPIX, the New York affiliate of The CW -- from Cablevision for about two months before the companies reached a retransmission-consent agreement in October.

The looming Cablevision-Viacom deadline was reported Friday by The New York Post.