DirecTV, Rainbow Media/MSG Renew Carriage Contract12/31/2009 10:39 PM Eastern
DirecTV nas reached a new carriage agreement with Rainbow Media and Cablevision's regional sports networks.
The pact, covering Rainbow's national services, AMC, WeTV, IFC, Fuse and Sundance Channel, as well as the regional sports services MSG and MSG Plus, came just hours before the parties' contract was set to expire at midnight on Dec. 31.
The agreement, according to sources familiar with the negotiations, does not include Wedding Central, the WE spin-off.
On Dec. 30, both Rainbow/MSG and DirecTV officials said the parties were engaged in productive discussions and were working "to finalize a deal."
The agreement with DirecTV comes as Rainbow and MSG parent Cablevision is poised to spin off the latter into its own business. The MSG unit includes the Madison Square Garden arena; professional sports teams the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty; theater venues Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon Theater and the Chicago Theater; the music channel Fuse; and the RSNs, MSG and MSG Plus..
Cablevision's original plan called for the transaction to be finalized by year-end. However, the company earlier this month said the spin would now occur sometime in the first quarter.