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CBS and AT&T Reach New Distribution Deal

CBS and AT&T said Wednesday they reached an agreement that will continue the carriage of CBS-owned broadcast and cable properties on AT&T U-verse.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The agreement covers the CBS-owned TV stations, Showtime channels, CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian. AT&T also agreed to launch Pop, a joint venture of CBS and Lionsgate, on U-verse in 2016.

"Ultimately, we both want to provide our customers with the shows they want, when and how they care to watch," the companies said in a statement.

The deal comes as AT&T awaits what is the expected FCC approval of its proposed merger with DirecTV.

The FCC always prefers that retrans and carriage deals get done with a minimum of consumer disruption, and preferably none at all, so the announcement of the carriage deal with a major player certainly doesn't hurt the AT&T/DirecTV deal's chances for success, which are widely believed to be good.

The FCC has not restarted its 180 day clock on the deal—currently at 170 days. So, when it does restart, a decision is expected within 10 days.

John Eggerton contributed to this report.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.