AT&T Signs New Carriage Deal With Viacom

Spans HD networks, mobile content from MTV and BET
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Telco AT&T announced a new distribution deal with Viacom units MTV Networks and BET Networks which covers new high-definition and international channels, renewal for existing channels, advertising expenditures, and content for AT&T CruiseCast, a satellite-based in-car entertainment service that AT&T plans to launch this spring.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. As per the deal, seven new HD networks will be added to the AT&T’s U-verse TV Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) service later this year, including MTV HD, VH1 HD, CMT HD, BET HD, Nickelodeon HD, Comedy Central HD and Spike HD. The deal also renews carriage of the MTVN and BETN channels and VOD content featured on AT&T U-verse TV, and provides for carriage of new international channels, including MTV India, later this year.

In addition, five MTVN and BETN channels will be part of the AT&T CruiseCast in-car entertainment service when it launches later this spring. The Ku-band-satellite based AT&T CruiseCast service, which was shown at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, transmits video programming to a compact, low-profile antenna for use on cars, trucks and SUVs. The CruiseCast system, including antenna and receiver, is expected to cost $1299, with monthly service for 22 video channels and 20 radio channels costing $27.95 a month.

“This strategic deal brings more content to our customers in new and better ways, while supporting Viacom with increased distribution and advertising revenue,” said Dan York, executive vice president of content, AT&T Services Inc, in a statement.

“This deal reaffirms our companies’ long-standing relationship, expanding the reach of our services to bring more content to more consumers across AT&T services,” added Denise Denson, Executive Vice President, Content Distribution & Marketing, MTVN.