CBS and Time Warner Cable are taking their problems public, with each starting a campaign to make the other company look bad as discussions over a new distribution deal reached an impasse, reports Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times.
The two sides have been negotiating a contract that would keep CBS-owned TV stations on Time Warner Cable. If a deal isn’t reached, the stations could come off the cable company’s systems as soon as July 24, the piece notes. The blackout would affect cities where CBS owns stations, such as New York and Los Angeles.
"CBS is driving up the cost of cable TV — charging higher and higher prices for shows they give away for free online and over the air," a Time Warner ad says.
CBS’s ads let customers know they may lose their TV channel, and will also promote competitors to Time Warner Cable, the story says.
Flint writes: "It has been many years since Time Warner Cable and CBS negotiated a distribution deal. The price the cable operator is paying now for the CBS stations is well under $1 per subscriber, per month, a person familiar with the matter said.
"CBS has made no secret that it wants hefty increases for access to its content. CBS is the most-watched network and also has rights to major sports including the National Football League."