CBS chief slams Time Warner Cable proposal to end blackout

CBS chief executive officer Les Moonves arrives at the premiere of CBS Film's "Extraordinary Measures" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, January 19, 2010. Credit: Reuters
CBS CEO Les Moonves said the proposal was not “sincere or helpful.” Credit: Reuters

CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves on Tuesday rejected the latest proposal by Time Warner Cable Inc. to end its blackout of the network’s shows.

Moonves said in a letter to Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt that the proposal, released on Monday, was a distraction and not “sincere or helpful.” He also called the cable company’s offer to sell CBS channels to subscribers one-by-one on an “a la carte” basis an “empty gesture” and unrealistic.

In the three-page letter released to the media on Tuesday, Moonves asked Time Warner Cable to return to the negotiating table and “talk about the real issues that separate us.”

The blackout of CBS-owned stations and cable networks on Time Warner Cable’s systems in the largest U.S. markets, New York and Los Angeles, is now in its fourth day. It has deprived viewers of summer hit “Under the Dome” and live sports such as golf that air on the broadcast network.

Shares of CBS were up 0.2 percent at $53.99 in early trading, while Time Warner Cable fell 0.5 percent to $115.89.


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