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Suddenlink strikes new agreement with Viacom

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 7:40am
Mike Robuck

With the clock ticking down on the previous carriage agreement, Suddenlink was able to ink a new long-term deal with Viacom on Friday.

Suddenlink's previous agreement was slated to expire at midnight on Jan. 1 before the two sides reached the new accord.

Specific terms of the new deal between Suddenlink and Viacom weren't disclosed, but Suddenlink said that there would be no changes to the recently announced rate adjustments for its services and that it would absorb the differences reflected in the new agreement with Viacom.

The new agreement included the addition of movie channel Epix. In previous postings on its blog, Suddenlink had said that Viacom was insisting that the cable operator carry Epix and was seeking a 20 percent price increase for its networks.

Epix is a movie channel that offers Hollywood titles, classic feature films, original series and comedy specials from Paramount, MGM, Lionsgate and other studios. Suddenlink characterized Epix as an R-rated channel that its subscribers may have not wanted access to. Suddenlink said its subscribers could decide for themselves on whether they want Epix.

Last year, Cox Communications launched Epix across its entire footprint.

In addition to Epix, the new agreement covered all of the Viacom networks included under the prior agreement. Of those networks, the seven typically featured on Suddenlink's Expanded Basic service are MTV, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Comedy Central, Spike TV, VH1 and CMT. The others are featured on optional digital services include Logo, Palladia HD, Nick Jr., TeenNick, NickToons, Nick2, MTV Hits, MTV2, MTV Jams, Tr3s, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul and CMT Pure Country.

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