CBS Corporation and Time Warner Cable (TWC) have been embroiled in a carriage dispute since the expiration of their contract on June 30, and as a result the two sides gave Wednesday, July 24 as their deadline to come to an agreement before millions of CBS viewers were left in the dark. Thankfully, the two companies continued discussions and were able to extend their deadline several times since. Last night was the latest scheduled deadline, but both parties failed to come to an agreement yet again and have now set Friday, August 2 at 5:00 PM ET as the next deadline. The extension occurred nearly a half hour after TWC blackened CBS programming in various markets.
On the line are the 13 CBS Owned & Operated (O&O) TV stations in the eight markets covered by TWC, cable networks Showtime, The Movie Channel (TMC), Flix and Smithsonian, which are wholly or partly owned by CBS. TVGN (TV Guide Network), which CBS acquired a 50% stake in earlier this year and airs “The Young and the Restless” is not included in the dispute.
“We offered to pay reasonable increases, but CBS’s demands are out of line and unfair – and they want Time Warner Cable to pay more than others pay for the same programming,” said TWC in a statement prior to the short-term blackout last night. For those thinking of switching to a different provider should the dispute result in a long-term blackout, TWC says, “Switching is not the answer; sooner or later CBS will threaten others and go dark, just as they have with DISH in the past and with us today. We thank our customers for their patience, and we hope to resolve this situation soon.”
On Monday, during the CBS portion of the Television Critics Association press tour, Les Mooves, CEO, CBS Corporation said, “As we’ve said, we feel like we should be paid for our programming.” It’s understood that CBS is asking for $2 per customer.
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