updated 12:22 am EDT, Tue July 30, 2013
Extended negotiations cross the wire with no deal in sight
[Update: stations stay on for now, some still seeing outages] CBS and Time Warner Cable have failed to reach an agreement in extended rebroadcast negotiations. Time Warner customers in New York City, Dallas, and Los Angeles may or may not be receiving local CBS stations, Showtime, The Movie Channel (TMC), Flix, and the Smithsonian channel as a result of the failure, regardless of whether the subscriber is paying the premium. CBS now says that the companies have "agreed to continue discussions."
A statement from Time Warner regarding the disconnect claims that the cable company "offered to pay reasonable increases, but CBS's demands are out of line and unfair -- and they want Time Warner Cable to pay more than others pay for the same programming." CBS has responded by saying TWC is "incapable of accepting the concept that the value of a company's programming should be in line with its popularity."
Time Warner points customers to alternatives, such as CBS.com and over-the-air antenna reception as temporary alternatives. The cable giant claims that "switching is not the answer; sooner or later CBS will threaten others and go dark, just as they have with Dish in the past."
Scattered reports from Los Angeles and New York City are surfacing, claiming to not be affected by the blackout. Time Warner Cable says that CBS has requested the cable giant not disconnect customers from the channels. Customers already affected by the blackout may be restored, but it is unknown at this time what the timetable is for restoration.
According to sources, Time Warner Cable pays between 75 cents and $1 per subscriber. CBS is reported seeking as much as $2 per customer. CBS CEO Les Moonves said in a memo to customers earlier this month that "it's not like Time Warner Cable doesn't have the money. Cable is a very, very profitable business, and Time Warner Cable can certainly afford to pay CBS a fair rate for our programming without passing any added cost on to its customers."
CBS says that the companies "have agreed to continue discussions" -- shortly after it accused TWC of being "incapable of accepting the concept that the value of a company's programming should be in line with its popularity."