Time Warner Cable, CBS Extend Deal Deadline to Monday
UPDATED: Negotiations are expected to continue all weekend, but the sides apparently remain far apart on subscriber fees.
Time Warner Cable blinked late on Wednesday and agreed to another short extension of the deadline to negotiate a new retransmission consent agreement with CBS Inc. until 5 p.m. ET on Monday.
The deadline had been 9 a.m. ET on Thursday, so viewers can count on seeing shows like 60 Minutes and Big Brother this weekend.
The negotiations are expected to continue through the weekend, but sources say the two sides remain far apart on the question of how much compensation the second largest multisystem cable operator will pay the No. 1 network (in total viewership), and how long the agreement will run.
The issue is how much TWC will pay per subscriber per month above the 88 cents paid under the current agreement (according to SNL Kagan and MSNBC but not verified by CBS or TWC), which has just expired. TWC has said CBS is demanding an increase of 600 percent above what the cable company pays for the same services in other markets.
Some analysts see the extension as a sign that there will eventually be an agreement and that there will be no disruption of signal service for TWC viewers in New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas/Ft. Worth.
CBS has never been blacked out over this kind of dispute but seems willing to do whatever it takes to significantly raise the revenue it receives in return for allowing the cable operator to carry its local channels, CBS Sports, the Smithsonian Network and possibly the Showtime pay TV service.