CBS signs Time Warner Cable to retrans deal


CBS Corporation has inked its first retransmission consent deal with a major MSO since the corporate split that left CBS negotiating separately from Viacom’s cable properties. The deal with Time Warner Cable was completed before any deadline loomed and puts CBS O&O stations, along with Showtime Networks, on TWC systems through 2013.

"We are extremely pleased to have reached this agreement which recognizes the value of our programming to Time Warner Cable and its subscribers. The CBS Television Network and Showtime are an essential component of any meaningful programming lineup. We are pleased that Time Warner Cable and its subscribers will continue to enjoy our programming for many years to come,” said CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves. He had been telling Wall Street for some time that retransmission consent payments would be a major new revenue stream for CBS – in the hundreds of millions over the next few years. While CBS had signed retrans deals with a few small cable systems for its stable of O&O stations, the deal with Time Warner Cable is the first with one of the majors.

The comprehensive program carriage agreement exends Time Warner Cable’s retransmission consent for the CBS O&O television stations and Showtime Networks through 2013. In addition, selected CBS and Showtime programming will participate in Time Warner Cable’s enhanced video services including Start Over and Look Back, as well as extensive video on demand offerings, including prime time programming from CBS.
"We are glad that we were able to reach an early renewal of our agreement with CBS and extend our relationship with Showtime. This new arrangement represents an exciting expansion of our relationship with the CBS Corporation,” said Melinda Witmer, EVP and Chief Programming Officer for Time Warner Cable:

RBR/TVBR observation: Good to see that the MSOs, at least some of them, now understand that retransmission consent payments are a win-win. They are finally paying for the most-watched programming on their systems. But the MSOs benefit as well, and are using the new retrans deals to lock down that vital content for their new HD, VOD and other enhanced video services.