CBS Corp. released its response to yesterday’s proposal by Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt to end the cable provider’s blackout of CBS-owned stations, Showtime and other CBS properties. The response, in the form of a personal letter to Britt from CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves, appears to show that the two sides remain far apart.
"After reviewing your letter, we have concluded that there is not a sincere or helpful proposal in it. It is, rather, a well-wrought distraction," Moonves writes.
The letter adds: "Let me remind you, Glenn, that you have in your possession more than 100 pages of our actual proposal, with economics, terms and rights agreements contained for CBS, Showtime and all the content vehicles under discussion. You had them well before you dropped our programming from your service. We have never received a mark-up or reply to anything contained in them."
In the letter, Moonves rejects TWC’s proposal for a la carte pricing, writing: "As to your groundbreaking ‘offer’ to go a la carte: Anyone familiar with the entertainment business knows that this is an empty gesture. The economics and structure of the cable industry have created a certain way that content is distributed and compensated. We both know that a true a la carte universe is not one that Time Warner Cable welcomes."
Moonves sums up the CBS position by writing: "Rather than engaging in public posturing that achieves nothing but confusion and doesn’t move us one bit closer to our mutual goal, please return to the negotiating table and talk about the real issues that separate us. We will be there waiting and hopeful."