Mediacom Communications and Viacom said they signed a renewal to carry the programmer's 19 national networks and the premium service Epix, days before the contract was set to run out. Terms were not disclosed but Mediacom will get substantially more free video-on-demand programming and expanded functionality for verified TV-everywhere viewing in and out of the home.
Viacom has experienced drops on smaller cable providers such as Suddenlink and Cable One after pushing through what operators termed a substantial fee increase more than a year ago. Mediacom, the eighth-biggest U.S. cable provider, said via a quote from chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso that “we appreciate Viacom’s willingness to enter into a reasonable agreement that takes into consideration our consumers’ sensitivity to pricing and the alternative ways content is consumed today.”
“Viacom has long been an innovator in the content space,” Commisso said in the release. “We look forward to providing our customers with the very best that Viacom has to offer.”
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said in the release: “We are pleased to have reached a comprehensive deal with Mediacom that delivers strong value for our brands and provides even better ways for Mediacom customers to enjoy their favorite Viacom content. Mediacom has been an outstanding partner for many years, and we look forward to continuing to grow our businesses together.”
In January, Citigroup media analyst Jason Bazinet downgraded Viacom, citing potential vulnerability to further drops, including by Dish Network. On Dish's first-quarter earnings call on May 11, chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said talks were ongoing and noted Dish had done a separate deal for Epix. Viacom is home to such networks as MTV, Comedy Central and Spike. (Pictured: Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.)