Time Warner, CBS Council hearing ineffective

Rory Whelan, Regional Vice President of Governmental Relations for Time Warner (background) listens to Martin Franks, CBS Executive Vice President. Credit: William Alatriste
Rory Whelan, Regional Vice President of Governmental Relations for Time Warner (background) listens to Martin Franks, CBS Executive Vice President. Credit: William Alatriste

A City Council hearing on the failed negotiations between Time Warner and CBS did not make much headway toward any kind of resolution.

The network and the cable provider have been facing off over CBS’ demand that TWC pay as much as 60 percent more than they currently pay to carry the network. The New York Daily News reported industry estimates placing TWC’s current rates at 88 cents per subscriber.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn insisted the issue be resolved in time for the start of the new season of Homeland, the hit Showtime series. Showtime is owned by CBS.

“Don’t even talk about the fact that ‘Homeland’ might not be on,” she said. “I don’t even want to bring it up.”

In a press statement, City Comptroller John Liu complained the absence of the Bloomberg administration from the hearing, but officials at the city agency that would be involved, the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, said their offers to mediate had been rebuffed. Ultimately there is little the city can do, as federal law prohibits cities from forcing cable companies to carry specific channels.

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



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