ViacomCBS, Google Expand YouTube TV Distribution Deal

Courtesy of Comedy Central
'Crank Yankers' is one of the programming hits of Comedy Central, which will come to YouTube Live under the new deal.

The agreement covers 14 additional cable channels, including BET, MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Paramount Network.

ViacomCBS and Google on Thursday unveiled a multi-year distribution agreement to offer 14 additional cable networks to YouTube TV subscribers.

YouTube Live has already carried programming from CBS Corp., which in December merged with Viacom, whose cable brands are being added under the new arrangement.

The expanded deal will bring the likes of BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1 to the live TV and on-demand subscription service this summer. The other networks set to join YouTube TV are BET Her, MTV2, Nick Jr., NickToons, TeenNick and MTV Classic. 

The agreement also ensures continued carriage of CBS broadcast stations, CBS Sports, Pop TV, Smithsonian Channel and The CW, as well as premium subscription services, including Showtime, on YouTube TV. The deal parties also mentioned "an extended partnership on the broader YouTube platforms," for which further details weren’t provided.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

ViacomCBS management has touted a strengthened position in negotiations with distributors as one of the benefits of the merger that created the company. ViacomCBS also recently reached a new carriage deal with Verizon, which marked the first conterminous agreement across the firm's combined programming portfolio.  

ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said on the company's earnings call that the deal filled a "key white space" for the the firm's distribution business and was a "clear proof point" for the value of the recombination of Viacom and CBS.

"We are thrilled to have reached an expanded agreement with YouTube TV that recognizes the full power of our newly combined portfolio as ViacomCBS," said Ray Hopkins, president, U.S. Networks Distribution, at ViacomCBS. "Google has been an excellent partner, and we look forward to bringing even more of our entertainment networks to YouTube TV subscribers for the first time."

Said Lori Conkling, global head of partnerships at YouTube TV: "Our expanded partnership delivers on our promise to offer a premium portfolio of content to our YouTube TV subscribers, as well as across the YouTube platforms."

The YouTube TV subscription streaming service lets people watch live and on-demand TV from 70-plus networks.