Spectrum Secured For CBS Corp.


Charter Spectrum subscribers worried about a Big Bang blackout or nixed access to Arrow need not fret.

A new multi-carriage content agreement between CBS Corp. and the MVPD has been reached, the companies announced Monday (5/7).

The deal continues retransmission consent for CBS’s 14 O&Os — including WCBS-2 in New York and KCBS-2 in Los Angeles, Spectrum’s biggest markets. It also includes 8 CBS-owned affiliates of The CW Network; expanded basic-tier cable offerings CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian Channel; and premium cable TV network Showtime.

The new pact also includes “TV Everywhere” and video-on-demand availability of “programming from CBS and Showtime” to Spectrum subscribers; Charter now has rights to live authenticated streaming on CBS.com, the CBS app and Charter’s authenticated platform, “giving their customers the ability to stream CBS’ hit programming live online and across multiple devices.” The latter will allow in-market viewing of O&O stations, similar to Xfinity’s smartphone apps and Roku-powered subscriber access for NBC O&Os.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased to extend and expand our partnership with Charter, which clearly recognizes the value CBS’ industry-leading content brings to their viewers throughout the country,” said CBS Corp. COO Joseph Ianniello. “This latest deal once again helps us achieve our Company’s economic and strategic goals, while delivering must-have content to viewers live and on demand whenever and wherever they want.”

While securing Spectrum is a big, important deal for CBS Corp., investors were nonplussed and seem more concerned about reports that a reunification effort that would see CBS and Viacom recombine — and Viacom head Bob Bakish step aside to make room for Ianniello — is on track.

CBS shareholders don’t like the idea, it seems: After a big jump Friday following the release of a largely positive Q1 2018 earnings report, CBS saw its stock slump 2.5% to $51.85 as of 2:05pm Eastern Monday.

Why? All eyes are once again on Reuters reporter Jessica Toonkel, who reported Saturday (5/5) that National Amusements President Shari Redstone — vice-chairwoman of Viacom and CBS — has dropped “her demands” for Bakish to serve as the No. 2 to Les Moonves following a merger of the two companies.

Moonves said he would run the combined CBS for two years, so long as Ianniello serves as President/COO, Toonkel reports.

Bakish would have a seat on the combined company’s board of directors; he would eventually succeed Moonves, sources told Reuters. Moonves doesn’t want that, nor does he want Bakish on the board.

Thus far no one is talking on the record on the subject.

As of 2:10pm Eastern, Viacom’s Class B shares were up a penny to $30.30.