CBS, Time Warner Cable reach agreement to end blackout

5:26 PM, Sep 2, 2013   |    comments
The CBS headquarters seen Aug. 2 in New York City. (Photo: Andrew Burton, Getty Images)
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CBS Corp. confirmed Monday that it has reached a new retransmission agreement with Time Warner Cable, ending a month-long blackout of the network's shows at several key markets in the country.

CBS' programming will resume at 6:00 p.m., ET Monday. The companies didn't disclose specific terms of the deal.

Their retransmission contract - which spells out the amount of money that cable and satellite TV providers pay CBS for the rights to carry its stations - expired at the end of June. But CBS was kept on the cable company's lineup as the companies kept delaying deadlines for a new deal.

On Aug. 2, TWC, the nation's second largest cable TV provider, finally dropped the TV stations owned by CBS after they were unable to reach an agreement. As a result, more than 3 million TWC customers in eight markets, including New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas, have been unable to watch the nation's No. 1 prime-time network.

CBS has said it deserves to be paid more for its programming given its shows' popularity and wants to keep its flexibility in digital streaming rights. While the blackout lasted longer than anticipated, analysts said the urgency to strike a deal would grow as the NFL - whose games draw top ratings - launches its regular season Sept. 5.

The new agreement also includes broadcasting rights of the cable networks owned by CBS Corp., including Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian Channel.

"We're pleased to be able to restore CBS programming for our customers, and appreciate their patience and loyalty throughout the dispute," said Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, in a statement. "While we certainly didn't get everything we wanted, ultimately we ended up in a much better place than when we started."

Britt also called for changes to the 1992 retransmission consent rules. "We sincerely hope that policymakers heed that call and take action to prevent these unfortunate blackouts soon," he said.

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