NCTC Strikes Disney, Viacom Deals
It’s not all fireworks with carriage negotiations. As DISH and Disney are in a current standoff, NCTC has inked a deal for the upcoming ACC Network as well as FX, Nat Geo and other former Fox channels now under the House of Mouse. NCTC’s 800+ member operators can opt into the pact, giving them the right to carry the channel at its Aug 22 launch.
In other carriage news, NCTC and Viacom went under the radar and inked a carriage renewal several weeks ago. That’s a change from their 2014 negotiations, which went public as co-op members balked at the rate hike Viacom sought. While a deal did get done and a blackout was avoided, an estimated 50 NCTC members opted out of the last Viacom carriage pact. The programmer’s now under new management and things seemed more cordial, with CEO Bob Bakish currently scheduled to keynote next week’s NCTC and ACA Connects Independent Show in Chicago. “The goal was to right size the terms of Viacom relative to our industry and our members, and it had to work for Viacom as well. The end result I think was good,” NCTC pres/CEO Rich Fickle said. “We still may see some small operators drop out of Viacom, but I think the negotiations were fruitful. Bakish and his team I think have really tried to set a different course.”