Charter, CBS quietly carve out broad program licensing deal

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Charter Communications and CBS Corp. quietly came to terms on a broad-reaching program licensing agreement. (Charter)

With nary a blackout or terse statement, Charter Communications and CBS Corp. announced the agreement of a broad-reaching program licensing deal.

The agreement includes broadcast retransmission licensing for CBS owned in operated stations in major markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. CBS-owned stations affiliated with The CW Network in Atlanta and Tampa, Florida, are also covered. 

The deal also includes carriage rights for Showtime, CBS Sports Network and the Smithsonian Channel. And Charter secured authenticated streaming rights to CBS, Showtime and CBS Sports Network. 

Terms of the deal were, of course, not disclosed. 

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"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with CBS that reflects the importance and breadth of Charter's distribution and provides us expanded rights to provide our customers increased access to CBS' content both inside and, now for the first time, outside the home as well," said Tom Montemagno, executive VP of programming acquisition for Charter, in a statement. 

Charter reported a modest 5.7% increase in programming cost increases in the first quarter, driven primarily by renewals. 

For its part, Charter probably is wise to demur on a publicly charged retrans battle with CBS, given its current standing on Wall Street. The cable company’s stock is still recovering from a 12% cratering that occurred after it reported first quarter earnings earlier this month. 

"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," added CBS 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.”