The new pact covers carriage of local broadcast stations including New York’s WPIX, Gracenote TV listings, a new agreement for Cablevision’s audience data and analytics. In addition, Cablevision will launch WGN America beginning in 2016.
Cablevision Systems Corp. and Tribune Media Co. today announced a broad-based multi-year content and media agreement. Specific financial terms were not disclosed.
Under the agreement, Cablevision’s Optimum TV customers will continue to receive Tribune Media’s television stations in New York (WPIX), Hartford, Conn. (WTIC and WCCT), and Philadelphia (WPHL). In addition, Cablevision will launch Tribune Media’s general entertainment cable network, WGN America, to its New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut video customers beginning in January of 2016.
Cablevision also renewed its use of TV listings and movie data provided by Gracenote, Tribune Media’s digital data and entertainment company. Gracenote data is used to provide programming information on the Optimum interactive programming guide, DVR recordings and VOD content on set-top boxes and the Optimum app.
“Cablevision is a tremendous distribution partner and we are looking forward to bringing WGN America’s new original dramas such as Underground and Outsiders and exclusive syndicated programming like Elementary and Person of Interest to new audiences in the nation’s No. 1 market,” said Dana Zimmer, president of distribution for Tribune Broadcasting. “In addition, reaching agreement to extend Cablevision’s retransmission of WPIX and our stations in Hartford and Philadelphia ensures that millions of people in the tri-state area will continue to enjoy Mets and Yankees baseball games alongside high-quality local news, sports and entertainment programming for years to come.”
“We are pleased to extend our long-standing relationship with Tribune Media on both the programming and media side and look forward to providing more compelling content with the addition of WGN America in 2016,” said Tom Montemagno, executive vice president of programming for Cablevision.
The addition of Optimum TV customers in early 2016 will extend WGN America’s conversion to a basic cable channel to nearly 80% of the network’s footprint, expanding its reach to 76 million homes.
As part of this agreement, Tribune Media has signed on to Cablevision’s portfolio of audience data and analytics that leverages Cablevision’s first-party, census-level audience tuning data to analyze consumers’ viewing habits and preferences. Tribune Media will have the ability to utilize this anonymized data to inform both programming and advertising sales activity for all of the networks it operates.
“The consumer insights derived from Cablevision’s census-level audience data will open the door to new understandings of tuning activity across all of our networks, enabling more informed programming and advertising decisions,” said Zimmer.
Cablevision has also acquired Tribune Media’s 2.8% interest in Newsday Holdings LLC, now making Newsday a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cablevision. Newsday Media Group includes Newsday, amNewYork, and Newsday Local Publishing, one of the Northeast’s largest groups of weekly shopper publications.