Time Warner Inks MTVN, BET Renewal


Time Warner Cable and Viacom units MTV Networks and BET Networks signed a wide-ranging carriage renewal, which includes the two programmers participating in the cable operator’s new Start Over and Quick Clips services, officials said Monday.

The affiliation deal not only covers the Viacom networks Time Warner already carries, but also includes digital distribution rights for MTV World, Logo, MTV Tr3s, MHD and a full package of MTVN and BETN free-video-on-demand content.

Under the agreement, Time Warner will expand its distribution of Logo, a network targeting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender viewers. Currently, the cable company is only offering Logo in New York City.

The renewal also provides for Time Warner to launch MHD, the music-centric HDTV channel.

As part of the pact, all MTVN and BETN services will participate in Time Warner’s Start Over, an on-demand application that allows customers to jump to the beginning of a program in progress without any pre-planning or in-home recording devices.

MTV will also offer content from its MTV.com broadband channel to become the first MTVN service to participate in Time Warner’s Quick Clips, which allows viewers to easily access short-form video content, including content provided for the Internet, on their television sets.

“Our agreements with MTVN and BETN permit us to offer customers additional, diverse programming choices and align channel lineups, especially among those systems we recently acquired from Adelphia [Communications] and Comcast,” Time Warner executive vice president of programming Fred Dressler said in a prepared statement.

“It also greatly expands our partnership, enabling us to offer MTVN content on advanced video platforms such as on-demand and broadband and across new applications like Quick Clips and Start Over,” Dressler added.

Time Warner and the two Viacom units have also committed to build on their current interactive-television partnership with additional key franchises. The N programmed episodes from the current sixth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation with an interactive voting and polling application that has delivered, on average, a 30% response rate among its young Time Warner viewers.

“This agreement reflects the resonance our highly targeted multiplatform brands have with the devoted niche audiences they serve,” Nicole Browning, president of affiliate sales and marketing for MTVN and BET, said in a prepared statement. “With this deal, MTV Networks and BET Networks reaffirm a long-standing relationship with a valued partner and expand the reach of our first-rate programming.”

Time Warner Cable owns and manages cable systems serving 13.5 million subscribers in 33 states. Passing approximately 26 million homes, the MSO includes some of the most technologically advanced and best-clustered cable systems in the country, with nearly 85% of its customers located in five geographic regions: New York, Texas, Ohio, the Carolinas and Southern California.