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CBS blackout stalled for now

Leslie Moonves

Leslie Moonves Credit: Leslie Moonves (Getty Images)

Time Warner Cable agreed to keep CBS on the air in New York and Los Angeles until the end of the week after it briefly blacked out the network’s stations in some areas Tuesday when the two sides failed to reach an agreement.

Negotiations between CBS and Time Warner Cable continued after midnight in New York, according to a spokeswoman for the cable operator. The companies agreed to an extension with CBS until Friday at 5 p.m.

A Time Warner spokeswoman confirmed that CBS had gone dark in “some but not all areas” around midnight, which deprived those viewers of late-night CBS programming. It also pulled the plug on other CBS-owned cable networks, including Showtime and TMC.

But Time Warner later said it had relented “at the request of CBS” and stopped the process of blocking the CBS signal from its systems.

The action came after weeks of often contentious negotiations over increases in fees that CBS receives from cable and satellite operators.

CBS, which is the No. 1-rated television broadcast network with shows such as “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS” has never had a wide-scale blackout, it said. Had Time Warner Cable not restored the signal when negotiations resumed with CBS, an estimated 3.5 million Time Warner Cable subscribers would have been affected.

“We offered to pay reasonable increases, but CBS’ demands are out of line and unfair,” Time Warner said in a statement.

“They want Time Warner Cable to pay more than others pay for the same programming.”
At an event in Los Angeles on Monday night, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves told reporters, “We still believe our content is worth a lot of money.”

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