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CBS channels to resume on Time Warner Cable

The CBS logo.
The CBS logo.

CBS and Time Warner Cable have ended a month-long carriage dispute that saw the removal of several CBS local and cable channels from Time Warner’s systems.

CBS announced the news in a press release to reporters Monday evening. According to CBS, its programming will reappear on Time Warner Cable systems by 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

The blackout affected CBS local stations in several markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. Also affected were CBS Sports, the Smithsonian Channel, Flix Channel, The Movie Channel and Showtime as well as CBS and Showtime’s video on demand services.

As has become customary at the end of carriage disputes, CBS said the terms of the deal were not being disclosed. CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves told employees by email that the network would be receiving “all the value and terms that we sought in these discussions,” including “fair compensation for CBS content.” Moonves’ email was provided to The Desk and reporters at other news organizations by a spokesperson at CBS.

In a statement posted online, Time Warner Cable said it was “pleased” that an agreement with CBS had been reached.

“We hate that these fights have to happen — and that our customers get caught in the middle — but they do allow us to negotiate deals that provide better outcomes for our customers,” the statement said.

The Desk asked both CBS and Time Warner Cable if the new agreement would mean an increase in cost for Time Warner Cable subscribers. While CBS did not respond, a spokesperson for Time Warner Cable acknowledged that programming costs “continue to increase every year and the price that we charge is directly affected by those programming costs.”

“We are doing everything possible to control programming costs, but the honest answer is that when we have to pay a lot more, it will have a long-term impact on customers’ bills,” the Time Warner Cable spokesperson told The Desk.

Time Warner’s statement to The Desk indicated that, in holding out, CBS may have gotten what it wanted: Increased compensation in exchange for retransmission rights on Time Warner Cable. So if you are a Time Warner Cable TV subscriber, don’t be surprised if your cable bill goes up in the near future.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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