The blackout is over! CBS Corp. has confirmed an agreement has been reached with Time Warner Cable and ending a month long black out of the TV network’s shows in several key markets across the United States.
In the affected markets, CBS programming resumed at 6 p.m. ET. The companies have not made any disclosures regarding specific terms surrounding the new retransmission contract. The contract spells out how much money Time Warner Cable will pay CBS for the rights to carry the CBS owned TV stations for its customers.
“The final agreements with Time Warner Cable deliver to us all the value and terms that we sought in these discussions,” wrote CBS’ CEO Leslie Moonves in an e-mail sent the company’s employees. “This has been a difficult time for our viewers and for CBS. I am glad it’s behind us. It’s good to be back.”
According to reports, the new agreement includes broadcasting rights of the cable networks that are owned by CBS, including the Smithsonian Channel, CBS Sports Network and Showtime Networks.
Having expired at the end of June, negotiations for renewal of the retransmission contract have been heated. CBS’s stations were kept on Time Warner Cable’s lineup as the deadline for a new deal was delayed on several occasions. Eventually, the blackout started and it has continued for a month before the companies have reached a resolution.
The nation’s second largest cable TV provider dropped CBS on Aug. 2 because they did not meet their self-imposed 5 p.m. deadline. As a result, CBS was not available in eight markets to more than three million customers. Those markets included New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas.
CBS argued it deserves to be paid more for its programming because its shows are popular. It wants to control digital rights. Time Warner Cable has maintained that the network’s programming is free over the air. It had offered to have CBS stations available a la carte to subscribers if an agreement couldn’t be reached.
The blackout lasted longer than expected, but analysts had predicted the urgency to resolve the matter would grow as the NFL, whose games get high ratings, launches its season on Sept. 5. Both sides could have lost if the lucrative advertising deals couldn’t have been acquired from the NFL games. Football fans had begun to campaign more aggressively for the black out to end as well.
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