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NCTC Inks MTV Networks Deal

After many months of tough negotiations, MTV Networks and the National Cable
Television Cooperative have completed a broad, long-term carriage renewal that
shores up distribution for the programmer’s core services and will increase
carriage for TV Land and Country Music Television, officials said Tuesday.

Under terms of the deal, NCTC members will continue to carry Nickelodeon,
MTV: Music Television, VH1, TV Land, CMT and Spike TV on basic or expanded
basic. But TV Land will also get launches on about 2 million additional homes,
as will CMT, through the course of the deal.

In addition, NCTC members will launch six MTVN digital networks in all
systems rolling out digital services -- Noggin, Nickelodeon GAS: Games and
Sports for Kids, MTV2, VH1 Classic, Nicktoons and MTV Hits.

"This is a terrific deal that underscores the significance of our partnership
with the NCTC members," MTVN chairman Tom Freston said in a prepared statement.
"The commitment secures distribution of our core networks and highlights the
growing value of our digital brands."

The NCTC represents more than 1,000 independent cable operators with more
than 15 million subscribers. The co-op’s old deal with MTVN expired more than
one year ago, and one of the issues in closing a renewal was the programmer’s
bid to secure double-digit rate increases for TV Land in that contract.

"MTV Networks has some of the highest-rated cable networks in the industry,
which speaks to the quality of their product and how well it meets the
subscribers’ needs," NCTC president Mike Pandzik said in a prepared

Under terms of the deal, an NCTC member that wants to participate in the
renewal contract is required to commit to full distribution of TV Land over
time, a source said. If the NCTC member doesn’t want to meet that requirement,
it will have to go directly to MTVN in order to carry its