Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Los Angeles Times-CBS deal positions Comcast as media superpower

Nicholas Roberts/AFP/Getty Images
(story reported by Joe Flint)

CBS Corp. has struck a 10-year agreement for distribution of its broadcast network and pay television channels with Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable and broadband provider.

The deal comes at a time when relationships between programmers and distributors have become very tense. Cable and satellite companies have been concerned about rising costs of programming. Earlier this year, Fox and Time Warner Cable had a very contentious negotiation over a distribution agreement for Fox's television stations. Last spring, Walt Disney Co. pulled the signal of ABC from Cablevision Systems Corp. in a dispute over fees that was ultimately resolved.

Besides distribution of CBS's television stations, Comcast has also agreed to expand distribution of CBS's cable channels Showtime, College Sports Network and the Smithsonian Network. Comcast will also have rights to CBS content for its online platforms.

For CBS, the deal helps it further establish a second revenue stream. Wall Street has often seen CBS as being too dependent on advertising. Chief executive Leslie Moonves has been aggressive in trying to develop a strong subscription business for the company.
(click here to read the entire Los Angeles Times story)

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