AT&T announced today that it has signed a long-term, multi-platform distribution agreement with A+E Networks that includes linear TV, TV everywhere, VOD and mobile.
The pact extends a long-standing relationship between the telecommunications giant and the cable network. Under the terms of the deal, AT&T will continue to provide A+E’s family of channels — which includes A&E, Lifetime, History, LM®, FYI and History en Espanol — to both AT&T’s U-verse TV and DirecTV, the latter of which AT&T acquired in a $48.5 billion deal that closed in July.
There is one new item in the package: Viceland, a new 24-hour linear TV channel created in partnership with edgy millennial-targeting online news provider Vice Media that will take the spot currently occupied by A+E’s H2 channel early next year. Oscar-winning writer/director Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich,” “Her”), a long-time Vice partner and creative director for the company, is overseeing the development for the new channel, from show creation and production to brand identity.
AT&T has been active in the online video space with Otter Media, a joint venture with the Chernin Group that is focused on acquiring, investing in, and launching over-the-top video streaming services. In September 2014, Otter acquired a majority stake in multi-platform prodco and multi-channel network Fullscreen. Earlier today, it announced it is investing $22 million in its anime streaming platform Crunchyroll.