TV programmers got some early presents this year — healthy fee increases from Time Warner Cable, sources tell The Post.

The New York cable company — after getting strafed with bad publicity during and after it blacked out CBS last summer when the two failed to ink a new carriage deal — has been playing nice guy, striking new arrangements with A&E Television Networks, Discovery Communications and, on Tuesday, Viacom, sources said.

Executives at each of those outlets have described themselves as “very happy” with what they received.

“It could be because of the CBS wounds, or [just] trying to keep out of the news with the M&A assessments that are taking place,” said one TV industry insider, who is leaning toward the former, saying TWC does not want to alienate consumers or future consumers with blackouts at a time when broadband revenue is becoming so profitable.

Viacom’s fresh distribution deal ensures that SpongeBob and friends will continue to be seen by TWC’s 11.7 million customers.

The new agreement gives TWC access to programming for its in- and out-of-home apps, while Viacom gains a price increase and added distribution for its interest in premium movie and TV service Epix.

Viacom isn’t usually the easiest customer when it comes to renewals. It typically packages smaller channels, such as VH1 Classic and MTV Tres, with its popular services, such as Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, and has irked distributors with its high asking price.

In fact, Cablevision filed a lawsuit earlier this year accusing Viacom of unfair bundling practices. So a renewal a week before the Dec. 31 deadline is all the more surprising.

While the new terms aren’t known, Viacom has told Wall Street it expects its annual affiliate-fee hikes to range from the high single digits to the low double digits.
Affiliate fees are derived from the likes of cable distributors and subscription video services operated by Netflix and Amazon.

The dust-up with CBS cost TWC heavily. It lost 306,000 video subscribers in the third quarter, its highest quarterly loss ever, along with 9,000 broadband customers.

To be sure, while TWC may be agreeing to healthy fee increases, it is getting to boost its on-demand programming war chest, too.

It could be that Rob Marcus, who takes over from Glenn Britt as CEO on Jan. 1, is taking a new approach when it comes to renewals.

The firm still has talks ongoing with the MLB and Yes networks.

Pay-TV consultant Jimmy Schaeffler observed: “This is another version of this incredible stress the whole industry is going through. The real core issue is what happens with video, retransmission and digital rights. Executives are concerned about their future because there are no silver bullets anymore.”

TWC shares on Tuesday gained 1.2 percent, to close at $134.04.

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