MTV Networks cut a 10-year affiliation deal with AT&T
Broadband & Internet Services that covers its three core networks -- MTV: Music
Television, Nickelodeon and VH1 -- and includes the launch of Noggin, MTV2 and Nickelodeon
Games and Sports on digital, officials said last week.
The deal marks the first major MSO-wide rollout of
MTVN's digital networks, which are packaged in a group with six other services in an
offering called "The Suite."
Under the new agreement, by the end of the year, AT&T
Broadband -- which will rise to 16 million subscribers once deals close -- will add
Noggin, the kids' educational network owned by Nick and Children's Television
Workshop, to the "three-pack" of digital services being offered through Headend
in the Sky.
That three-pack is in 1.3 million AT&T Broadband homes,
set to climb to 1.8 million by year's end. HITS will also launch MTV2 and GAS on
The new AT&T Broadband-MTVN deal expires in 2009.
"There were very reasonable terms agreed to in this
deal that benefit both parties," AT&T Broadband spokeswoman LaRae Marsik said.
"And it will give us a bit of stability in our rate structure into the years
Marsik added, "Noggin has a number of unique
educational features that parents are interested in. It's a great supplemental
MTVN has been working on the AT&T Broadband deal for
months, according to executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing Nicole
"This establishes some great momentum for the value
that our brands bring to digital services," Browning said.
Noggin debuted in February. So far, the lion's share
of its 2 million-home distribution has been from EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish
Network direct-broadcast satellite service.
Late last month, MTVN announced that Comcast Corp. would
launch Noggin and GAS on analog in the Detroit suburbs to 225,000 subscribers --
essentially marking the networks' first analog-cable launches.
Including MTV2, six of the nine Suite services are
music-video channels. MTV2 launched almost three years ago as an analog service, and it
reaches nearly 11 million homes.
Five other Suite music-video channels haven't gotten
any carriage yet. While those channels weren't covered in last week's deal, MTVN
is reportedly still talking with AT&T Broadband about getting digital carriage for
Another MTVN service, TV Land, reached a separate
affiliation deal with AT&T Broadband late last year that called for significant analog
launches and some digital carriage.