Paramount, Charter Extend Carriage Deal With Hotly Anticipated Multiyear Agreement That Includes Paramount+

In a highly anticipated announcement, Paramount Global and Charter Communications said they’re extending their longstanding partnership with a multi-year distribution agreement for Paramount’s full portfolio of linear cable networks, CBS owned-and-operated broadcast stations and direct-to-consumer streaming services.

In addition to CBS, subscribers to Charter’s Spectrum will keep BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Network, as well as premium service Paramount+ with Showtime.

More from Deadline

In a new twist that echoes Charter’s landmark deal with Disney last year, the agreement calls for the ad-supported versions of Paramount’s direct-to-consumer services, Paramount+ Essential and BET+ Essential to be included at no additional cost to Charter’s Spectrum TV customers. Charter also will make Paramount’s direct-to-consumer products available for purchase to its Internet-only customers.

But unlike the Disney pact, Charter is not dropping any cable networks. Its Disney deal eliminated Baby TV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo from Spectrum’s roster.

Charter is the nation’s second largest cable and broadband provider. Given the turmoil lately at Paramount and its financial struggles, Wall Streeters and the industry at large has been extremely curious about if and when a deal would be unveiled and what it would look like. The previous distribution deal between the partners had been set to expire April 20 but they extended the talks. Meanwhile, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish has departed, replaced by a trio of top executive (Brian Robbins, George Cheeks, Chris McCarthy) in an “office of the CEO”. The company controlled by Shari Redstone is engaging in deal talks with Sony and Apollo after an exclusive window with Skydance ended, although David Ellison’s studio is still interested.

“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, Charter’s EVP, Programming Acquisition.

Spectrum is Charter’s brand of video and connectivity services.

“Continuing to build on our new distribution framework with the addition of Paramount+ Essential and BET+ Essential, joining the Paramount+ with Showtime service for Paramount+ with Showtime linear customers and others like Disney+, ESPN+, ViX, Max for HBO customers, Tennis Channel Plus, and numerous regional sports networks’ direct-to-consumer apps for customers of our regional sports networks, Spectrum continues to transform the cable bundle to become the best destination and value for video customers and we expect to continue to add more enhancements like this in the near future.”

“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, 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.”

Key deal points:

Charter will continue to carry Paramount’s CBS owned-and-operated broadcast stations, along with all of Paramount’s current cable networks and Paramount+ with Showtime, in relevant tiers across all Spectrum TV Select packages, Mi Plan Latino, TV Choice and TV Stream.

Later this year, Paramount+ Essential and BET+ Essential will be made available at no additional cost to all Spectrum TV Select packages and Mi Plan Latino customers through the Xumo Stream Box or any other Paramount+ supported device, and the Paramount+ with Showtime plan will continue to be received at no cost by all of Spectrum’s Paramount+ with Showtime linear customers as well.

Spectrum customers that have Paramount+ Essential included will be offered the opportunity to upgrade to the ad-free version of Paramount+ with Showtime later this year. Charter and Paramount will continue to innovate through long-standing advanced advertising partnerships, leveraging the local and advanced capabilities of Spectrum Reach, Charter’s advertising sales business, which will be enhanced through this new agreement.

Additionally, Charter will leverage its vast distribution capabilities – including its nearly 25,000 onshore, in-house sales and marketing employees – to offer Paramount’s direct-to-consumer products to its Internet-only customers for purchase at retail rates, with revenue share to Charter for new paid subscriptions and ad-free upgrades.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.