CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves warned employees that the company’s television stations may get blacked out by Time Warner Cable if negotiations stall before a deadline this week, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town.
"There is a very real threat that Time Warner Cable is going to drop our stations in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas," Moonves wrote in a memo to employees that was obtained by the publication.
The two sides have until 9 a.m. Thursday to strike a new deal, after the deadline was pushed back a day, reports TVNewser. The deadline had been Wednesday, but that falls within a sweeps period, and FCC rules don’t allow blackouts to fall during the ratings periods, the report notes.
The two sides are negotiating fees paid by Time Warner Cable to CBS to carry its TV stations, with the negotiations affecting only stations owned by CBS, and not all affiliates, the Los Angeles Times adds.
"Still, that could translate to several million viewers in three key markets and could harm CBS’s ratings," the story points out.
Moonves wrote, "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." He added, "According to its own billing statements, it is already charging its subscribers more than $20 a month for broadcast programming."