After keeping discussions quiet before and following the expiration of their contract last month, CBS and Time Warner Cable got loud about their retransmission-consent negotiations on Thursday.
The programmer launched a TV ad campaign in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas that warns Time Warner Cable subscribers that the distributor is “threatening to hold your favorite TV shows hostage and drop CBS.” The spot’s images places a number of CBS shows, including NCIS, The Big Bang Theory, Late Night with David Letterman, 60 Minutes, local news programming, syndicated fare, and sports like the NFL, PGA Championship and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, behind lock and chains.
For its part, the nation’s No. 2 cable operator said CBS is seeking a 600% jump in fees for the same programming it currently offers.
The parties’ contract for retransmission of the signals of 5eight stations, including CBS’s owned-and-operated stations — WCBS-TV New York, KCBS-TV Los Angeles and KTVT-TV in Dallas-Ft. Worth — as well as carriage of premium network Showtime, CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian Channel – expired on June 30. However, CBS granted TWC an extension until 5 p.m. on July 24 as they have continued to try and reach a renewal. That’s when there could be a disconnect for the stations and perhaps the cable services.
And just to think, only two months ago they were talking merger…