CBS and Time Warner Cable end contract dispute

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 CBS Executive Vice President Martin Franks. Credit: William Alatriste

New York City football — and sitcom — fans can breathe easy: CBS and Time Warner Cable ended their contract dispute and programming resumed Monday night for some three million subscribers in the city.

The companies, whose bitter contract talks stalled in August and led to a month-long blackout of the network for Time Warner subscribers in New York and around the country, did not release specifics on the resolution.

“We’re pleased to be able to restore CBS programming for our customers, and appreciate their patience and loyalty throughout the dispute,” Time Warner Chairman and CEO Glenn Britt said in a statement.

On Aug. 2, Time Warner shut off CBS programing, including Showtime, when contract negotiations failed.

Noting Time Warner has a large number of subscribers in New York, the City Council held a joint oversight hearing in an attempt to hold officials accountable.

The hearing was ultimately ineffective, but both companies said they were pleased with the final outcome, three weeks later.

In a memo to CBS employees, CEO Leslie Moonves said the final agreements “deliver to us all the value and terms that we sought in these discussions.”

“We are receiving fair compensation for CBS content and we also have the ability to monetize our content going forward on all the new, developing platforms that are right now transforming the way people watch television,” Moonves continued.

Subscribers won’t be getting credit from Time Warner for the service they missed, the company said, but received a preview of some programing from Starz, a gift card and free antennas.

“Remember that CBS is carried as part of a programming package, and we typically do not adjust what customers pay for changes to the lineup — whether channels are added or removed,” the company wrote on its FAQ page.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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