Minutes after Time Warner Cable said it is turning off all the CBS-owned stations in NYC, LA and Dallas/Fort Worth, the MSO has agreed to keep CBS channels on the air as talks continue. The companies have now set a new Friday 5 PM ET deadline for their retransmission talks.
Retrans consent negotiations stalled late 7/29 past the last deadline and TWC announced it would have to black out the Smithsonian Channel, Showtime, TMC, Flix and CBS local stations.
“At the request of CBS, we have halted going dark on their channels,” a TWC spokesperson said after midnight New York time in a statement to the press. “I’ll update you when I have more information I can share. Thanks very much for your patience everyone.”
If it does black out CBS stations, the nation’s second-largest cable company would become the first to black out CBS in history.
In its statement announcing talks had broken down Monday, TWC said: “The outrageous demands for fees by CBS Corp. have forced Time Warner Cable to remove several of its networks and broadcast stations from our customers’ lineups.” It called CBS’s fee demands “out of line and unfair,” and added, “Sooner or later CBS will threaten others and go dark.”
CBS responded: “They continue to engage in a public campaign of disinformation and voodoo mathematics (featuring wildly inflated percentages) while doggedly restating their positions. Time Warner Cable seems incapable of accepting the concept that the value of a company’s programming should be in line with its popularity. It is no mystery why this company has dropped more than 50 television stations from its service in the last five years alone, some as recently as last week. CBS remains resolute in the pursuit of fair compensation for our programming and will use the full resources available to us to make sure that Time Warner Cable subscribers are aware of its short-sighted, anti-consumer strategy. In the end, of course, an agreement will be reached. We continue to hope that outcome may be achieved very soon and we can get back to focusing on delivering great content to the customers we share.”