NCTC, Viacom Reach Carriage Renewal

Pact Encompasses VOD, TVE Rights

After their contract expired at midnight, the National Cable Television Cooperative and Viacom have reached a carriage renewal for the programmer’s networks.

The agreement, financial terms of which were not disclosed, means that the more than 800 NCTC members can now sign onto the co-op’s master deal with Viacom. The April 1 pact encompasses video on demand and TV everywhere rights.

The Viacom services remained on the NCTC members systems -- even as the contract expired at midnight -- as the parties continued negotiations on Tuesday. Last night, 15 Viacom networks went dark on Cable One, an NCTC member that opted to negotiate its own deal with the programming giant.

NCTC president and CEO Richard Fickle in a recent interview said Viacom had been seeking a rate hike that by some estimates was 40 times greater than the current inflation rate. The Co-op's old deal covered 23 Viacom networks.

Whatever the financials, the parties bridged their differences and announced a deal this evening.

“Viacom is and remains one of NCTC’s largest content providers and we are pleased to have reached an agreement that will provide opportunities for our members to distribute their content over multiple platforms,” said Judy Meyka, NCTC executive vice president of programming, in a statement.

Noted Viacom executive vice president of content and distribution Denise Denson: “We’re grateful to have reached an agreement with NCTC that will allow millions of viewers nationwide to continue to enjoy our programming. We commend NCTC for collaborating with Viacom to reach a fair deal that puts viewers first.”