Cablevision takes Olympics

Cablevision, one of the few operators that initially rebuffed the NBC Olympics-surcharge deal, has signed on. NBC is offering 279 hours of supplemental Olympics coverage on its MSNBC and CNBC cable networks to cable operators willing to pay a $1-a-year-per-subscriber surcharge over eight years. In some cases, escalating rates for MSNBC and CNBC were included in the negotiations.

Terms between NBC and Cablevision were not disclosed, but sources suggest that NBC leveraged its 25% interest in Rainbow Media, Cablevision's programming division, to seal the deal. Sources said NBC was impeding Cablevision's plan to spin off Rainbow a tracking stock, which it did less than two weeks before the Olympic agreement was announced.