CBS Television Network has reached a wide-ranging agreement with its affiliates.
The board of the CBS Television Network Affiliates Association has nailed down terms of a multitiered agreement on matters including National Football League cost-sharing and digital revenues.
The agreement, terms of which still need to be approved by the affiliate body, comes at a time when some TV station owners have expressed concerns about the way some networks have been putting content on new platforms without including affiliates in the process.
CBS said it had "negotiated the material terms of an important multitiered agreement that, upon approval by the affiliate body, will extend the NFL cost-sharing partnership by three years and allow both parties to benefit from new-media opportunities."
Under the agreement, CBS will have increased flexibility to make programs available on emerging platforms such as digital streaming on the Internet. At the same time, CBS affiliates will have the ability to promote the digital offerings on-air and receive a share of the proceeds, including VOD offerings. The deal also calls for CBS affiliates to receive a bounty for any traffic/Internet users they deliver to CBS.com and its other Internet properties.
"We're very pleased to have once again forged a mutually beneficial agreement with our affiliates," said CBS TV Network affiliate relations President Peter Schruth, in a statement. "By sharing these costs with our broadcasting partners, we will be able to ensure signature, big-ticket programming like the NFL remains on CBS." NFL rights cost the network billions and the affiliates chip in for a portion of the cost.
"At the same time, this agreement also encompasses new business opportunities that expanding digital platforms create for the Network and its affiliates," said Schruth. "We recognize that in today's marketplace it's in our collective long-term best interest that the Network and the affiliates each leverage the full value of the assets they own."
"This new agreement is a significant evolution in the network-affiliate partnership," said Freedom Broadcasting President Doreen Wade, who is chair of the CBS Television Network Affiliates Association. "In a rapidly changing multiplatform, multimedia universe, CBS and its affiliates must develop new business models and methods that best position us to maximize revenue and branding opportunities."
The CBS Television Network includes more than 200 owned and affiliated stations across the land.
CBS Corp shares rose 19 cents to $26.82 on Thursday