CBS, Time Warner Cable sign carriage deal


CBSWell, it’s been a month of blackout in multiple markets, but on 9/2 CBS Corp. and Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks reached an agreement for carriage of CBS O&O stations on Time Warner Cable systems across the country, as well as Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian Channel, it was announced by both companies. Programming on all networks resumed at 6:00 PM, ET 9/2.  Though specific terms of the deal are not being disclosed, the agreement includes retransmission consent, as well as Showtime Anytime and VOD, for CBS stations on Time Warner Cable systems in New York (WCBS and WLYW), Los Angeles (KCBS and KCAL) and Dallas (KTVT and KTXA).

The blackout affected 1.1 million of New York’s 7.4 million television households that get CBS. An estimated 1.3 million of 5.6 million households in LA were blacked out, along with 400,000 of Dallas’ 2.6 million TV homes, CBS said.

It was coming down to the wire: CBS stations in more than three million homes subscribing to Time Warner Cable could have been blacked out at the start of the National Football League season on 9/8. As that date approached, TWC faced increasing numbers of angry subscribers, lawsuits and concerned investors.

The dispute had centered on retrains fees. CBS has asked for a substantial increase, widely estimated at a $1 per subscriber raise. Time Warner Cable had declared the demands exorbitant. There are also streaming rights issues on the table including rights to packages of programming that CBS sells to on-demand subscription video services like Netflix and Amazon. Time Warner Cable wants to gain access to that content; CBS insists it would mean Time Warner Cable was getting for free something it sells for hundreds of millions of dollars to on-demand services.

According to reports, the deal is for four or five years and CBS got an increase to more than $1.50 per subscriber. Adding in the cost of the CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian Channel, it’s expected that CBS will receive more than $2 per subscriber per month when it’s all said and done.