Moonves: Time Warner Retransmission-Consent Deal a 'Template'


CBS CEO Les Moonves offered few additional details regarding its recent retransmission consent deal with Time Warner Cable at an industry conference Tuesday, but added that the deal sets the stage for future deals with cable operators.

CBS announced a sweeping retrans deal with Time Warner Cable earlier Tuesday, which many observers believe could involve cash payments from the cable operator. Moonves said at the Citigroup Global Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference in Phoenix today that CBS was paid for its content in the deal, but did not elaborate as to what form that payment took.

In the past, Moonves has said that CBS expected to reap as much as $250 million from its retrans deals over a three-to four-year period. While the company has done about 25 retrans deals so far -- mostly with small operators -- Moonves said that the Time Warner Cable agreement puts the broadcaster on the path toward its goal.

“We’re very pleased,” Moonves said of the agreement. “It is in the neighborhood we wanted it to be in.”

More importantly, Moonves said that the deal with the second largest cable operator in the country sets the stage for future negotiations.

“Time Warner was significant in the size and the power of it and I think it opens the door for a lot more of these deals,” Moonves said. “It set a template and people now know we are going to get paid for our content.”

Moonves added that CBS is currently in retrans negotiations with Cablevision Systems and that he hoped a deal could be reached “shortly.”

Cablevision officials declined to comment.