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CBS, Time Warner end bitter carriage row

Les_MoonvesThe month-long blackout of US broadcast network CBS on Time Warner Cable is over, after the pair agreed a new carriage agreement.

The deal was struck just in time for the new NFL season to begin, as many had expected.

As a result, CBS, plus other CBS Corp. channels such as Showtime, Smithsonian Channel and CBS Sports Network have been restored to the TWC bouquet.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but CBS said it included controversial retransmission consent and VOD rights for CBS stations in New York, LA and Dallas.

An internal memo from CBS CEO Les Moonves (pictured) was quoted by US media as noting CBS had gotten “all the value and terms we were seeking”, while TWC chairman and chief executive Glenn Britt said: “While we certainly didn’t get everything we wanted, ultimately we ended up in a much better place than when we started.”

Tellingly, neither CBS nor TWC added a statement of good will in their announcements, which highlights exactly how protracted and ill tempered these negotiations have been.

CBS first went black on TWC on July 30 and remained that way after emergency talks failed.

Britt urged media regulator the FCC and Congress to re-evaluate retransmission rules, which he described as “woefully out of date” and the “primary reason cable bills are rising”. He warned that without action, future blackouts would likely be inevitable.