Written by Stephen Fielder
CBS and Times Warner cable settled their dispute exactly one month after it began. So, over the Labor Day weekend, millions of subscribers were able to receive CBS programming once again. No one was the least bit surprised by the settlement, because the NFL season was about to kickoff and everybody was about to lose a bundle.
CBS had been receiving about $1 per Time Warner subscriber in retransmission fees, and they were seeking $2. Time Warner was already losing thousands of subscribers every month due to rising cable bills, and they knew that they were going to accelerate the loss of subscribers if they simply gave CBS the increase they wanted and passed the cost on to their customers. So, in early August, they decided to push back by taking CBS content off of their cable network in several areas but mainly in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. They wanted to send a message to CBS and others around the country, and they knew that they had to do it before the start of the NFL season. Time simply ran out, and they had to settle.
The terms of the settlement are undisclosed. However, CBS did get additional fees for its content, and it retained the digital rights to its content as well. (A key point because CBS also wants to sell its content to Web-based distributors like Amazon and Netflix.)