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CBS and Time Warner Cable Reach Agreement, End Blackout

September 2, 2013  |  8:30pm
CBS and Time Warner Cable Reach Agreement, End Blackout

After a tumultuous month-long programming blackout, the stalemate between CBS Corp. and Time Warner Cable has finally come to an end. According to a company email from CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, a contract carriage agreement between the two parties has been reached and is effective immediately.

In a nutshell, the conflict that started the month-long suspension of service was over a matter of pricing. It all began in July, when the broadcasting network demanded that Time Warner subscribers pay around $2 per bill for the channel instead of the original $1 price. Believing that such an increase was too steep a price for their audience, Time Warner refused to accept the new pricing and instituted a programming blackout of CBS.

Time Warner subscribers affected by the blackout had initially taken some comfort in the fact that the impeding 2013 NFL season would pretty much spell out an end to the dispute sooner or later, since both CBS and Time Warner risked huge losses of football-hungry viewers who watch their favorite teams every Sunday on CBS. But up until this morning, a mere six days from the Sept. 8 kickoff, it started to feel as if the presence of football remedying the blackout was no longer an easy fix after all. Moonves’ email, which was delivered to all CBS employees this afternoon, was the long-awaited truce.

“I am pleased to inform you that this evening we concluded our content carriage agreement with Time Warner Cable,” Moonves wrote. “Disruptions to our viewers will case, and things will go back to normal, with a new and beneficial agreement in place.”

Although there hasn’t been any word yet on the exact details of the new agreement, Moonves added that CBS will be “receiving fair compensation.” And in a display of both exasperation and relief, he concluded the email by saying, “It’s good to be back.”

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