Viacom, Frontier Renew Carriage Deal

While its channels remain dark to customers of small market cable operators Suddenlink Communications and Cable One, Viacom said Wednesday it has renewed its carriage deal with Frontier Communications.

According to its financial statements, publicly traded Frontier has about 396,000 video customers in 28 states, some of which are satellite TV customers through reseller agreements with the telephone company. However sources said the vast majority of Frontier's video customers would fall under the new Viacom agreement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Viacom said it is a long-term agreement that entails multiplatform rights for 27 networks, including premium movie channel EPIX.

Viacom networks went dark to about 500,000 Cable One customers on April 1 and on Oct. 1 Suddenlink Communications, which has about 1.1 million video customers in the Midwest, South and Southwest, said it could not reach an agreement for the networks. Last week Suddenlink said video subscriber losses associated with the Viacom dispute have been minimal.