DISH and Viacom kiss and make up, new contract is a done deal

The Viacom logo adorns the mass media company's headquarters, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Just like the half-hour sitcoms that made Viacom’s fortune, it’s over before it had barely begun. Rather than start a channel blackout, Viacom went back to the table and found a way to ink a new multi-year deal with DISH. If you read between the lines of the press release (posted below) the real reason for the feud may have been streaming rights. DISH is working hard to build its Sling TV product into a streaming empire and there may have been a bump in that road from the Viacom lawyers. Whatever the problem was, it sort of looks like they’ve fixed it.

This brings up the question of why these two sets of lawyers couldn’t have done whatever magic they did… last week. I mean, why turn this into a media circus when it’s clear that the two sides can get something done quickly when they want to? Obviously these lawyers were the kind of kids who did their homework on the bus in the morning and they grew into the kind of people who think they “thrive under pressure.” Friends, most people who think that are just procrastinators who think they have an excuse.

But whatever. It looks like not only will Viacom channels stay on DISH for the next few years but there will also be more Viacom content on demand and through Sling TV. It’s hard to know what customers will pay for all these addons as that’s never disclosed in programming deals, but people are all playing nice now and that’s what matters.

Viacom and DISH Agree to Multi-Year Renewal

• Viacom portfolio, including Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, and MTV, to remain available on DISH
• Select Viacom live and Video-on-Demand content to join Sling TV single- and multi-stream services

NEW YORK & ENGLEWOOD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– DISH Network L.L.C. and Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB and VIA) have agreed to terms for a multi-year contract renewal that provides DISH customers with uninterrupted access to Viacom networks and sets the stage for select Viacom live and Video-on-Demand content to join the Sling TV single- and multi-stream services. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We appreciate Viacom’s willingness to continue with us on our journey as we work to deliver the best, most innovative television services available,” said Charlie Ergen, DISH chairman and CEO. “This creative, bold and consumer-friendly approach extends a nearly 20-year-old relationship.”

“Today’s agreement ensures Viacom’s number one family of networks will continue to be available to our millions of fans on DISH and underscores the value of our programming across platforms,” said Viacom Executive Chairman, President, and CEO Philippe Dauman. “DISH has historically been and remains an important partner for Viacom, and as part of our commitment to entertain audiences wherever they are, we are pleased to offer select Viacom networks as part of DISH’s Sling TV product. Today’s renewal, together with several additional affiliate agreements announced over the past year, will enable Viacom to drive growth and deliver better, more engaging viewer experiences for years to come.”
Viacom networks, including Comedy Central, BET, Spike, MTV, Nick Jr. and many others, will be available on Sling TV’s single-stream and multi-stream services in coming months. Specific packaging details were not announced.
The renewal applies to the 18 Viacom channels DISH currently carries, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick Jr., and Nicktoons.

About DISH
DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH), through its subsidiaries, provides approximately 13.874 million pay-TV subscribers, as of March 31, 2016, with the highest-quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value. DISH offers a high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 250 company. Visit DISH Official Site | Satellite TV Providers | 2 Yr Price Guarantee.

About Viacom
Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create compelling television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, apps, games, consumer products, social media experiences, and other entertainment content for audiences in 180 countries. Viacom’s media networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., Channel 5 (UK), Logo, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Paramount Channel, reach over 3.5 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide. Paramount Pictures is a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.
For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit Viacom
. Keep up with Viacom news by following Viacom’s blog at and Twitter feed at Viacom (@Viacom) | Twitter.

Robert Toevs, 303-723-2010
Jeremy Zweig, 212-846-7503
Source: DISH Network Corp.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.