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Viacom Inks New Deal With AT&T, DirecTV

Viacom has signed a new long-term deal with the AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV distribution platforms.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but in an unusual statement, AT&T noted that given its status as the largest pay TV provider in the world, “this agreement entitles AT&T’s satellite and IPTV platforms to the best deal in the industry for Viacom’s leading portfolio of television brands.”

The statement confirms concerns that consolidation on the distribution side of the business will make it tougher for programmers and does little to dispel thinking that without sports, Viacom has less leverage than other programmers in being able to get sub fee increases as distribution deals expire.

AT&T and DirecTV closed their merger on July 24, creating a pay TV provider with more than 26 million customers in the U.S. and 19 million subs in Latin America.

Read more at B&C

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.