CBS, Time Warner Cable Reset Drop-Dead Deadline to Aug. 2 After Brief Blackout

CBS, Time Warner Cable Reset Drop-Dead

The tortured talks between CBS and Time Warner Cable are set to last at least a few more days: After a brief blackout of the Eye’s channels on the operator’s systems, the companies extended their previous agreement through Friday, Aug. 2, at 5 p.m. Eastern, as they try to come to terms on a new fee structure.

TW Cable just after midnight ET Monday began pulling CBS stations in New York, L.A. and Dallas, along with Showtime and three other CBS cablers from lineups nationwide — but the operator halted the blackout after CBS came back to the negotiating table.

SEE ALSO: Time Warner Cable Still Carrying CBS Stations, Cable Networks Amid Clash Over Fees

CBS is seeking more coin for its owned-and-operating TV stations in Gotham, L.A., Dallas and five other markets — while Time Warner Cable is refusing to pay what it claims are rates 600% more than it pays independent CBS affiliates elsewhere in the U.S.

The marathon negotiations have dragged on for weeks. Originally, the 2008 pact was set to expire June 30, and the parties have pushed back the deadline multiple times. On Monday the deal deadline was 5 p.m. ET — which CBS and TWC extended to 8 p.m., then kept postponing every hour until midnight.

CBS has boasted that its broadcast stations have never gone dark in a retrans dispute, although in 2004 Dish Network pulled several of the Eye’s locals as part of a broader carriage fight with then-CBS parent Viacom.

After talks between CBS and Time Warner Cable hit an impasse Monday the cable operator began pulling WCBS in Gotham, KCBS in L.A. and KTVT in Dallas, as well as national feeds of Showtime, The Movie Channel, Flix and Smithsonian Channel. However, TW Cable restored the channels at CBS’s request and the negotiations resumed.

Meanwhile, in a lower-profile retrans spat, Journal Broadcast Group’s CBS and NBC affiliates in four markets have been off Time Warner Cable since last Thursday. The cable operator says the station group is asking for a 200% rate hike, while Journal Broadcast says the increase is only pennies per day per viewer.

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  1. Woodyvo says:

    Rich, greedy bastards posturing. I’m tired of listening to it. I like some CBS shows. I like some showtime shows. I don’t give a s**t how they get to me. TWC drops them, I move elsewhere, but I take the other services along. F**k cable.

    • Cliff H says:

      I agree 100 percent If I lose cbs I go to fios. The greed of time warner is absurd Twc says they do not want to rise our rates. My rates rise all the time twc never have told me they do not want to rise my rates they just do it

  2. FrankM says:

    Weren’t CBS and Fox the two networks that are threatening to go “cable only” if Aereo is allowed to continue “stealing” their signals? That is going to be a odd strategy, relying on cable companies to carry your network at an amount that they think is fair.

    This spat with TWC is silly, because CBS has little leverage. Showtime/ TMC/ Flix are premium channels; Smithsonian channel has dozens of viewers; and CBS broadcasts their signal FOR FREE.

  3. Alec Polsley says:

    Regardless of the result, viewers are the ones paying. What I don’t understand is why Time Warner is threatening to promote Aereo if CBS doesn’t cave. Aereo hurts TWC and CBS both. The networks should be utilizing Aereo as a new VOD (BOD) platform rather than fighting it.

    • Josh says:

      I don’t think Aereo would really hurt TWC. You can only watch broadcast channels on Aereo, so you can catch CBS, for example, but not Showtime or MTV. TWC offers a whole lot more channels than Aereo can.

      I never quite understood the logic of re-transmission fees. CBS is a broadcast network which can be viewed for free over antenna. If CBS is dropped by a cable provider, I am totally fine with that, because I can still catch CBS for FREE via an antenna. As long as TWC also lowers my monthly cable bill when it drops CBS, I say go for it. But TWC cannot keep my monthly cable bill the same if it drops a few channels.

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