CBS and Optimum Parent Altice Reach New Carriage Deal

New deal covers retransmission consent for CBS-owned stations and the carriage of Showtime, CBS Sports Network, Pop TV and Smithsonian Channel

Last Updated: July 29, 2019 @ 7:44 AM

CBS and Optimum parent company Altice have reached a comprehensive, multi-year content carriage agreement, the two companies announced on Monday.

The new deal covers retransmission consent for CBS-owned stations and the carriage of Showtime, CBS Sports Network, Pop TV and Smithsonian Channel on Altice’s Optimum and Suddenlink cable systems. It also enables Altice to continue offering the Showtime’s digital streaming service to its broadband customers.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to strike a fair marketplace deal with Altice for CBS, Showtime, CBS Sports Network, Pop TV and Smithsonian Channel well in advance of our expiration and without any disruption to consumers. We appreciate the value Altice places on delivering America’s #1 network to its customers,” Ray Hopkins, president, Television Networks Distribution, CBS Corporation, said in a statement.

“Altice USA is committed to delivering a wide array of high-quality content for our customers at competitive, fair rates, and this new agreement with CBS allows us to meet that objective,” Yossi Benchetrit, head of Programming for Altice USA, continued. “We are pleased to extend our longstanding partnership with CBS, enabling the CBS network portfolio to remain available to our customers as part of Altice’s Optimum and Suddenlink TV lineups.”

The deal with Altice comes just over a week after CBS went dark on AT&T’s DirecTV, DirecTV Now and AT&T U-verse in many major markets after the two sides could not come to a new distribution agreement. Smithsonian Channel and CBS Sports Network were also made unavailable on DirecTV nationwide, while CBS Sports Network was dropped from DirecTV Now nationally.

CBS said earlier this month that it offered AT&T a 30-day extension to continue negotiations, but that the DirecTV owner declined. However, AT&T said the company is willing to negotiate and called CBS a “repeat blackout offender.”

On July 24, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said on his company’s earnings call: “We sent what I thought was a reasonable, fair offer over five days ago and it’s been crickets. We haven’t heard anything — haven’t even had a response to the offer.”