Cablevision, CBS Strike Carriage Deal

August 25, 2015 by Paul Ausick

One of the principal cable TV operators in the New York area, Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Tuesday signed a multiyear agreement with CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) to carry CBS content, including retransmission consent for CBS-owned stations and continued carriage of Showtime, CBS Sports Network and the Smithsonian Channel. The financial terms of the deal were not announced.

The deal includes a package to entice cord-cutters: Cablevision will offer the network’s standalone video streaming service, CBS All Access, for the CBS broadcast network, and Showtime Internet. The price for the streaming services and the start date have not been announced.

That part of the deal gives Cablevision bragging rights to being the first cable or satellite provider to gain the right to market CBS’s streaming services. The services will be available to Cablevision’s Optimum Online customers.

In its second-quarter earnings report released earlier this month, Cablevision said it lost 16,000 video customers and reported a total of 2.64 million video subscribers at the end of June. The company added 14,000 high-speed data customers to bring its total subscriber number to 2.78 million.

The company’s second-quarter revenues also rose, but that was the result of higher prices to help offset higher costs and lost video subscribers. Cablevision needs to find a way to persuade cord-cutters and cord-nevers to pay for streaming video. How successfully the company can do that, without resorting to costly promotional pricing, will be the test.

Cablevision’s stock traded up about 2.4% on Tuesday, at $23.20 in a 52-week range of $16.94 to $28.95.

CBS stock traded up nearly 2%, at $44.80 in a 52-week range of $40.75 to $63.95.

ALSO READ: Where Will Warren Buffett Put Money as Markets Collapse?