Time Warner and CBS go to war, briefly

July 30, 2013 at 1:44 PM
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LOS ANGELES, July 30 (UPI) -- U.S. cable television giant Time Warner Cable said it blacked out CBS channels briefly in response CBS contract demands it called "out of line and unfair."

In a statement, Time Warner said "outrageous demands" made by CBS were behind the decision to cut access to KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 in Los Angeles.

The cable company also blacked out KCBS-TV, New York, and the cable network Showtime, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

"We 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," the cable company said.

When shown the statement from the cable company, CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said, "We're at war with Time Warner Cable."

Both sides, however, recanted quickly.

Time Warner Cable said it had put the channels back on line at the request of CBS, which released a statement saying negotiations had resumed.

Industry analyst David Banks of RBC Capital Markets said recently CBS is pushing for something close to $2 per-subscriber as a distribution fee, which is currently less than $1.

CBS is also looking for increases in the future, Banks said.

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