Comcast and Paramount Reach New Deal, Avoiding a Super Bowl Blackout





Comcast and Paramount Global agreed to a renewal carriage deal that keeps CBS and cable channels like MTV and Comedy Central on the cable giant’s lineup, and averting a blackout that hit other pay-TV providers last year. 

The new carriage deal renews a multi-year agreement Comcast and Paramount Global signed in January 2022 when Paramount still went by ViacomCBS. The potential blackout stemmed from a possible gap in deals between when the previous agreement expired and a new one was penned. But ahead of the new year, the companies agreed to extend the terms as is, and there will be no changes for customers, a spokesperson for Comcast confirmed with Cord Cutters News.

Customers can still watch CBS-owned stations, including CBS Sports Network, NFL, college football, March Madness, and Uefa Champions League soccer matches.

A blackout of coverage would have been a big blow to football fans as Paramount carries the NFL and other “marquee programming.” CBS, Paramount’s flagship broadcast network, will air Super Bowl LVIII this February alongside Nickelodeon, a loss of which would cause a big uproar amongst fans across all teams and potentially spawn a new wave of cord cutting within a demographic already drifting towards streaming services like Prime Video and YouTube TV, which are growing their sports packages to rival cable TV.

Under the renewed deal, Comcast will continue to carry Paramount’s content on Comcast’s Xfinity TV and internet platforms, including news and sports channels. Industry experts predicted this deal could play out similarly to Disney’s renewed carriage agreement with Charter Communications last September, in which Disney+ was given to Spectrum subscribers for free, while Select Plus customers get ESPN+. In exchange, Disney agreed to drop various low-rated cable networks from Spectrum.  

This year, Paramount will renegotiate its distribution deal with Charter before the current deal signed in 2021 expires. Charter said it plans to use the Disney deal as a template for future distribution agreements, according to Deadline.

Paramount Global and Charter Communications were not available for comment.

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