TWC, CBS Extend Retrans Talks Through July 29

Second Interim Accord Keeps CBS Stations On Cable Op's Systems in Eight Markets
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With a deadline looming, CBS and Time Warner Cable have agreed to another extension in their retransmission dispute.

The nation’s No. 2 cable operator and the programmer said late on Wednesday night that their carriage contract now carries through Monday, July 29 at 5 p.m. (ET).

The deal, covering retransmission-consent of 13 CBS-owned stations in eight markets within TWC’s footprint, including WCBS-TV New York, KCBS-TV Los Angeles and KTVT-TV in Dallas-Ft. Worth, as well as Showtime and cable services CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian Channel, expired on June 30. However, CBS in late June granted an extension that went through 9 a.m. on July 25.

Negotiations continued quietly and out of the public’s view until July 18. Since then, the dispute has gone public. Time Warner Cable and CBS have been trading barbs in competing ad campaigns over the past few days,  with TWC claiming the broadcaster is asking for a 600% premium to what other CBS broadcast stations charge it on average. CBS counters TWC is refusing to negotiate the same sort of deal that other distributors have reached with the network.

TWC has also been talking about permanently removing CBS from its prized Channel 2 positions in New York and Los Angeles if the stations go dark, noting it has drawn in those spots from other programmers. For its part, CBS said in an earlier statement that it "obviously won’t be making any deals where we are required to change our channel position."