AT&T Inc. said it reached a multiyear agreement with Viacom Inc. for the media giant to continue providing programming to AT&T's U-verse TV and DirecTV U.S. subscribers.
AT&T closed its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV in July after more than a year of regulatory review, a combination that created the largest U.S. pay-television company.
Financial terms of the pact with Viacom weren't provided, but in its news release Monday, AT&T said the agreement entitles AT&T's satellite and IPTV platforms to the "best deal in the industry" for Viacom's TV brands.
Viacom has been facing growing concerns that pay-TV providers will decide they can do without its bundle of channels, which include Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV and smaller ones like TV Land and Spike. Being dropped by cable providers, whose subscription-fee payments power revenue and profit growth for all media companies, would be a significant blow for Viacom.
Last year, more than 60 small cable operators covering about 2 million subscribers dropped Viacom's channels, amounting to about 2% of U.S. pay TV households. The question that remained was whether bigger distributors would do the same.
Write to Tess Stynes at email@example.com