NEW YORK - Cablevision Systems Corp reached a new deal with CBS Corp to carry its broadcast network as well as cable channels Showtime, the Smithsonian Channel, and CBS College Sports Network, the companies said on Friday.
Such deals are relatively common, but have recently become more contentious in the TV business as networks, which provide programming, and cable operators, which transmit that programming into living rooms around the country, battle over terms.
CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves has made new broadcast deals a priority, specifically insisting that he wants cable operators to pay CBS for the right to carry its stations in what are known as retransmission deals.
In a statement, Moonves said he was extremely pleased to reach a deal with Cablevision, which has about 3 million subscribers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Neither side disclosed details of the deal or was willing to comment on whether it covered retransmission; however, CBS has set it sights on reaching new retransmission deals. Earlier this year, it signed one with Time Warner Cable Inc.
Bernstein Research analyst Michael Nathanson estimates CBS will earn around $245 million in new revenue in 2012 from retransmission fees. CBS recorded just $26 million in retransmission revenue in 2008, according to Bernstein.
Nathanson said CBS's ramp-up is driven by the phasing in of new contracts from various distributors, including cable operators Time Warner Cable in 2011 and Comcast Corp in 2012 and satellite TV provider DirecTV Group Inc in 2012. (Reporting by Paul Thomasch and Yinka Adegoke, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)