Even Oprah needs a helping hand sometimes.
The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) announced yesterday that it has entered into an agreement with Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) to distribute content and programming through the Comcast subscriber base.
The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed according to a report in the Washington Post.
OWN is currently available primarily through its relationship with Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA). The Comcast transaction is expected to increase availability of the OWN network from 80 million to 83 million homes.
The Comcast partnership will put the OWN network on a higher viewership and subscriber trajectory, as Comcast is the largest cable operator in the U.S. with more than a 25% share of the overall market.
Perhaps just as importantly, the deal will bring in much needed revenue. At this point Comcast carries OWN without payment of subscriber fees, however next year Comcast will start paying those fees to OWN.
Comcast is always looking to upgrade service and content, and including OWN could be a big winner for the cable operator. While the network has generally struggled to find footing in the highly competitive world of cable television, it’s recently seen an uptick in the number of household subscribers. OWN is up 20,000 viewers in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 2011.
Marc Bastow-InvestorPlace Assistant Editor