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Charter inks new deal with Paramount with streaming perks for Spectrum TV customers

Spectrum TV subscribers will soon get the ad-supported tiers of Paramount Plus and BET Plus for free.

Spectrum TV subscribers will soon get the ad-supported tiers of Paramount Plus and BET Plus for free.

A promotional tile for the show "Yellowjackets" appears on the Paramount Plus with Showtime app. (Graphic by The Desk)
A promotional tile for the show “Yellowjackets” appears on the Paramount Plus with Showtime app. Charter’s new distribution agreement with Paramount Global includes complementary access to the ad-supported Paramount Plus for Spectrum TV subscribers.  (Graphic by The Desk)

Charter Communications has renewed its distribution deal with Paramount Global, which will keep dozens of broadcast channels and cable networks on Spectrum TV systems for a few more years.

As part of the deal, Charter will also offer complementary access to the ad-supported tiers of Paramount Plus and BET Plus streaming services for all Spectrum TV subscribers.

In a statement on Thursday, a Charter executive said Paramount was willing to embrace the company’s pursuit of a new distribution model that couples traditional TV channels with streaming platforms.

The model was first proposed by Charter last year during negotiations with the Walt Disney Company, which triggered a short programming blackout for Spectrum TV subscribers. The situation was resolved a short time later when Charter agreed to purchase wholesale access to Disney-owned streaming services, including Disney Plus and ESPN Plus, for Spectrum TV subscribers with certain Disney channels.

That agreement also gave Charter the opportunity to drop lesser-viewed Disney-owned cable networks like Freeform and FXM, while still keeping highly-sought local and cable channels like ABC, ESPN, FX and National Geographic.

Charter didn’t say whether its deal with Paramount affords it the same flexibility, or whether the company is purchasing wholesale access to Paramount Plus and BET Plus on behalf of its Spectrum TV subscribers. But both sides seem equally satisfied with the new deal.

“From the outset, Paramount has embraced Charter’s goal of evolving the video distribution model, and we have appreciated their willingness to collaborate on a solution that benefits our mutual customers and the video industry as a whole,” said Tom Montemagno the Executive Vice President of Programming Acquisition at Charter.

The deal will see Charter continuing to offer dozens of CBS-owned local stations on Spectrum TV in markets like New York City, Dallas, Minnesota and Los Angeles, as well as ancillary markets that are near Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle and Denver.

Paramount-owned cable networks will also remain on Spectrum TV, though their availability is likely to vary by programming package. Those channels include Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, BET, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Logo, Paramount Network, the Smithsonian Channel, Pop TV and CBS Sports Network.

“We are very pleased to renew and expand our long-standing partnership with Charter to provide continued access to Paramount’s leading portfolio of broadcast, entertainment, news and sports brands,” said Ray Hopkins, the President of U.S. Networks Distribution at Paramount. “This innovative deal celebrates our mutual commitment to deliver flexibility, choice and value for audiences everywhere, and we look forward to bringing even more of our fan-favorite programming to Spectrum customers through our direct-to-consumer streaming services for the first time.”

Charter said Paramount Plus and BET Plus will be available to Spectrum TV customers later this year. Subscribers will also be given the opportunity to upgrade from the ad-supported Paramount Plus to the commercial-free Paramount Plus with Showtime, Charter said.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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