Viacom, Charter agree to extend renewal deadline: Source

Viacom along with Charter Communications agreed on a short-term extension of their renewal deadline, a source familiar with the matter said, as the companies aim to avoid the immediate blackout of Viacom networks.

If no deal is actually reached, 16.6 million subscribers of Charter’s Spectrum service will lose Viacom’s networks, which include Comedy Central, MTV, along with Nickelodeon.

Viacom along with Charter are working to “reach a mutually beneficial deal,” said the source, who did not want to be identified.

Viacom stands to lose $760 million, or about 16 percent, of its annual affiliate revenue if an agreement is actually not reached, according to an analyst at Gabelli & Co., Viacom’s second-largest voting shareholder.

Both sides are under pressure by cord-cutting, or dropping of pay television, as audiences flock to cheaper streaming services in which have emerged from the past decade.

An agreement between the two companies could be “mutually beneficial,” wrote Evercore ISI in a note Sunday.

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