AT&T's DirecTV, Viacom reach deal to keep Comedy Central, Nickelodeon
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AT & T's DirecTV, Viacom reach deal, avoid blackout to keep Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon
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For the first time, more households subscribe to a digital streaming service than to a traditional pay TV subscription. Buzz60's Sean Dowling has more.
DirecTV and Viacom have averted a blackout that would have removed channels such as BET and Comedy Central from the pay-TV service.
The contract between DirecTV parent AT&T and Viacom expired at midnight Friday, but the companies continued talks over the weekend. Viacom's channels remained on the TV service during talks and an agreement was reached early Monday.
"We are pleased to announce a renewed Viacom-AT & T contract that includes continued carriage of Viacom services across multiple AT&T platforms and products," the companies said. in a joint statement sent to USA TODAY. "The deal also brings AT&T customers more choice and improved value for Viacom content. We expect to announce additional details in the near future." We're pleased to announce a renewed Viacom-AT & T contract bringing our customers more choice and improved value for Viacom content
– DIRECTV (@DIRECTV) March 25, 2019
Viacom (VIAB) shares were up nearly 5 percent in premarket trading Monday.
Viacom commenced warning DirecTV subscribers last week they could lose access to 23 channels – others include MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount – if a dispute over fees paid to carry the channels was not resolved.
The media company enlisted stars such as "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" host and filmmaker and TV producer Tyler Perry to watch viewers to contact AT&T and DirecTV about their love of the channels.
AT&T, Viacom said an inferior product with fewer channels, "but also marginalizing various audiences in its new DTV packages and threatening to do the same with their existing products." However, AT&T said last week in a statement to USA TODAY it hoped " to avoid any interruption to the channels some of our customers care about. "Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider .
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