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Viacom and Altice Reach New Ad, Content Distribution Deal

Some cable networks restored on Suddenlink systems

Viacom and Altice USA said they signed a new advertising and content distribution deal that returns a number of of Viacom’s cable networks to Suddenlink subscribers.

The deal also continues carriage of Viacom’s networks on Optimum systems and creates new advertising opportunities using Altice’s data and platforms with Viacom’s advanced advertising products.

Suddenlink unplugged Viacom’s networks, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon in 2015 and replaced them with networks including Revolt TV, Comedy.TV and Sprout.

The drops came as Viacom’s networks faced ratings pressure, which in turn created financial pressure.

While many cable networks are losing subscribers as the number of pay-TV customers declined, Viacom seemed particularly vulnerable because it did not own a broadcast network or important sports rights. Recently, Charter Communications has moved some of Viacom’s channels onto a higher tier, raising concerns about its distribution revenue growth.

Last year Philippe Dauman was ousted as CEO of Viacom and replaced by Bob Bakish, who has said one of his priorities is to create a more collaborative relationship with distributors.

Related: Viacom's Bakish Says Streaming ‘Entertainment Pack’ Talks Are ‘Advanced’

“We are pleased to establish a new partnership between Altice USA and Viacom,” said Michael Schreiber, chief content officer of Altice USA. “Our joint efforts to find flexible and creative solutions will benefit Altice USA's customers as we look to provide the best video experience in our markets, build on our innovative data-driven advertising capabilities, and provide our customers with access to Viacom’s marquee programming.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Related: NAB 2017: Altice USA Eyes Offering OTT Content to Customers

“We are delighted to extend and strengthen our successful relationship with Altice USA, ensuring that loyal fans across the country will have access to Viacom’s must-see content,” said Tom Gorke, executive VP of content distribution at Viacom. "These agreements demonstrate our commitment to collaborating on next-generation solutions that provide a better experience for viewers and exciting new business opportunities for our partners. Altice USA has a strong growth strategy, fueled by the delivery of outstanding content on an outstanding network, and we are proud to play a role in their next chapter."