ACA Attacks Sinclair’s Allbritton Purchase

The American Cable Association tells the FCC that the proposed purchase of seven stations will mean Sinclair will be able to negotiate retransmission consent deals for multiple stations in both Harrisburg, Pa., and Charleston, S.C.


WFLA Tampa Says No Deal Yet With Dish

Media General’s Tampa, Fla., NBC affil says the satellite service’s subscribers will lose its signal if a new retransmission consent contract isn’t signed by midnight, Sept. 30.


Behind The Battle For Retransmission Dollars

This year alone, NBC will make $200 million from retransmission consent fees from cable, telco and satellite carriers. Retrans money has become hugely important to the TV networks as ratings decline and ad dollars level off. Robin Flynn, senior analyst at SNL Kagan, talks about how broadcast retrans fees originated, why they’re growing, and how Aereo fits into all of it.


Disney Upbeat About Retrans, Pay TV Options

Estimates are that the ABC network, which closed upfront deal-making in late July, pulled CPMs in the 7% to 8% range. Disney also continues to seek new pay TV system alternatives, while optimistic about retransmission fees.


Moonves: No Financial Harm From TWC Fight

“You will see at our third quarter earnings that there was no harm done to CBS Corp.,”  company CEO Leslie Moonves told investors about the 32-day blackout on Time Warner Cable systems. “It didn’t hurt us one iota financially.”


Dueling Ads Point Fingers Over Blackouts

Cable charges broadcasters with flip-flopping over retrans, while broadcasters point the finger at operators, especially Time Warner, Dish Network and DirecTV.

Key Lawmakers Fret About Retrans Blackouts

But no clear consensus emerged during a House judiciary subcommittee hearing on what should be done about the blackouts. “Our constituents aren’t shy about telling us to do something about problems in the marketplace that deprive them of their favorite shows,” said Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.), chairman of the House judiciary subcommittee.


NAB Breaks Out Tin Foil Hats In Retrans Fight

Porter Novelli’s Brian Frederick: The NAB’s charges [that the vast majority of retrans blackouts involve DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable] are ludicrous, as anyone with even a basic understanding of how business works can attest. There is nothing more frustrating for TV consumers than blackouts so it’s absurd to think that pay TV distributors would intentionally upset their customers and risk losing them. As long as distributors are prohibited from importing a distant network signal and broadcasters can drop signals on cable and satellite, broadcasters can demand whatever they want for a local signal, knowing that most viewers primarily just care about network programming anyway.”


Cable Seeks Signal Substitution In Retrans

Among testimony set to be delivered on Tuesday at a House hearing on retransmission consent is a proposal to allow cable and satellite providers to offer distant network signals during negotiations to avoid blackouts. And a new bill introduced Monday by Rep. Anna Eshoo would give the FCC authority to “grant interim carriage of a television broadcast station during a retransmission consent negotiation.”


Bold Play By CBS Fortifies Broadcasters

CBS and its chief, Les Moonves, have given the broadcast world a shot in the arm by pushing distributors to pay broadcasters just as they do cable networks.


CBS Retrans Win Is One For All Broadcasters

The CBS-TWC settlement makes all broadcasters  winners, assuming they can continue to ward off government intervention. The deal demonstrates the continued attractiveness of broadcasting programming and (particularly sports) and its puts upward pressure on all retrans fees.

Disney Armed With ESPN In Next Fee Faceoff

Now that CBS Corp. has prevailed in its monthlong dispute with Time Warner Cable, it’s Bob Iger’s turn to see how much his Walt Disney Co. can squeeze from a pay-TV carrier. Disney, owner of the most-expensive pay-TV channel in ESPN, faces a Sept. 30 deadline to reach a new agreement with Dish Network Corp., the second-largest U.S. satellite-TV provider.


Are These TV’s Next Big Blackouts?

Carriage deals for ABC, ESPN, MTV and Discovery are set to expire this year.


CBS-TWC Deal Is Beginning Of Retrans V3.0

The CBS-Time Warner deal, regardless of its economic terms, is a watershed event. It presented one of the most politically-appealing invitations for the government to second guess the path of a free market retrans negotiation, and the government declined to do so. Perhaps just as important, viewers came to realize that the sun still rose in the morning despite the CBS blackout, antenna manufacturers enjoyed a sales boost, and a retrans deal was achieved in less time than it typically takes Congress to name a post office.


Cable Subs Face More Blackouts, Higher Bills

The cost of a deal announced Monday between Time Warner Cable and CBS, that ended a month-long blackout of the main CBS channel and its Showtime cable network in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, is likely to be passed onto the consumer. And as video programming costs climb across the board, there are likely to be many similar disputes leading to a disruption of service in various parts of the country.


KTIV And CableOne Reach Retrans Deal

The Quincy Newspapers-owned NBC affiliate in Sioux City, Iowa, and CableOne have come to an agreement on the retransmission of KTIV’s NBC and CW signals. The existing agreement was set to expire at midnight on Saturday.

Showtime To Be Back On Bright House


Analysts: CBS Win Squeezes TWC Margins

CBS Corp won large increases in the fees it will receive from Time Warner Cable in its agreement with the cable operator that ended a month-long blackout of CBS, Showtime and other channels in key cities on Monday, analysts say.


CBS, Time Warner Cable Reach Agreement

The month-long payment dispute has ended and Time Warner Cable customers had their CBS programming restored by 6 p.m. ET Monday.


When Antennas Help And When They Don’t

When it comes to retransmission consent disputes, over-the-air antennas may not be the perfect solution, but they have gotten better. Here’s a look at the digital TV transition and maps of DTV reception in major cities affected by the CBS-TWC dispute.


CBS Enlists NFL Stars in TWC Blackout Ad

CBS Corp. aired ads in three major U.S. markets this week urging fans to switch television providers before the start of the professional and college football seasons to pressure Time Warner Cable to end a month-long blackout over fee increases.


TWC-CBS Fight Invites Football Fans’ Wrath

Peyton and Eli Manning may play a starring role in bringing the long-running CBS-Time Warner Cable fight to an end while at the same time putting pressure on Washington to change the law at the heart of the dispute. The contract battle, which has dragged on for nearly a month. But if it plays out like other major retrans spats in recent years, a major sports event like the Sept. 15 Manning brothers matchup in the Giants-Broncos game may act as a catalyst to bring the companies together for an agreement.


Examining Changing Economics Of Retrans

A high-profile battle over fast-growing retrans fees, the new spotlight on digital rights and a more vocal FCC (particularly in the ownership caps arena) have the industry nervously looking ahead to see if expectations regarding retrans revenue growth may have to be adjusted. Here’s a look at what’s at stake and how the dollars may move.


FCC ‘Working’ On CBS-TWC Retrans Impasse

The FCC says it’s working to resolve a fee dispute that has kept CBS Corp. programming off Time Warner Cable systems serving more than 3 million viewers since Aug. 2. “The commission is engaged at the highest levels with the respective parties and working to bring the impasse to an end,” Justin Cole, an agency spokesman, said yesterday. “We urge all parties to resolve this matter as quickly as possible so consumers can access the programming they rely on and are paying for.” The statement didn’t offer details.


TWC-CBS Battle Could Set A Pattern

While Time Warner Cable subscribers watch closely as the CBS standoff enters its fourth week, TV distributors should be monitoring the negotiations even more diligently, because the ultimate settlement is likely to set a pattern for the entire industry.


Cable Group Asks FCC To Stop Blackouts

The American Cable Association calls on FCC to let operators continue carrying broadcast stations during contract fights. A cable or satellite operator would pay rates under the previous contract, with a retroactive “true-up” once a new deal is signed.


Moonves: Verizon Deal Proof It’s Them, Not Us

The CBS chief suggests that CBS’s ability to come to a swift and amicable retrans contract with Verizon can only mean that Time Warner Cable is the cause of the continuing standoff in the current retrans blackout. “You should know that Time Warner Cable has been offered almost exactly the same deal for CBS carriage to which Verizon has agreed,” Moonves says.


TWC To Offer Customers Free Antennas

Time Warner Cable will offer free antennas starting Friday, allowing customers to receive blacked-out CBS stations over the air. Customers will be able to collect them at local TWC offices.


CBS And Verizon Reach Carriage Agreement

The three-year deal includes retransmission consent for CBS Owned Stations on Verizon FiOS TV as well as increased carriage of CBS Sports Network.


Michael Copps Bashes CBS For Web Blackout

Former FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps: The CBS-Time Warner Cable stand-off “goes beyond programming to the functionality of the Internet itself. CBS is blacking out access to for Time Warner Cable broadband customers nationwide — even those outside the affected markets and even those who are not cable television subscribers! CBS is perpetrating an audacious violation of the FCC Open Internet (“net neutrality”) rules. These rules guarantee consumer access to lawful content. They are designed to prevent just this sort of corporate censorship. Someone here needs to stand up for consumers.”



CBS, TWC Reach Pact To Air NYC Debates

CBS and Time Warner Cable have agreed to suspend the blackout in New York — but only long enough to air debates among candidates in two of the city’s political races.


CBS, TWC And The Disruption Of TV

Ken Auletta: What we’re witnessing are not the deliberate, calculated moves of two skilled chess players but, rather, two aging players who fear that their game is being disrupted. Thirty years ago, the traditional TV world was blindsided by cable; today, cable operators and traditional TV are both being blindsided by a new crop of technologies. Whenever the blackout ends, the underlying upheaval that helped to cause it won’t go away.


Verizon FiOS Woos CBS Staffers To Drop TWC

Verizon FiOS is throwing a bone to CBS employees who can no longer watch the network in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas because of the broadcaster’s three-week-old fight with Time Warner Cable. In a memo to staffers, CBS said Verizon FiOS is offering employees “exclusive discounts and special promotions.” Verizon is even going to send sales teams to CBS offices in those cities this week to sign up new customers.


CBS Blackout May Last Until NFL Season

The contract dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable is approaching the two-week mark with no hint of an imminent settlement. Neither side in the standoff has mentioned any progress over the last several days. Both have continued to level charges and accusations of blame for TWC’s decision to remove CBS’s stations in areas the cable company covers, which include subscribers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.


CBS Blackout Drives Verizon FiOS Sub Gains

With Time Warner and CBS locked in a nasty contractual dispute, leaving 3.2 million cable customers without the network, Verizon is beginning to benefit. The telecom giant, according to industry sources, has seen its FiOS subscription base rise between 5% and 15% in various neighborhoods compared to last year.


TWC Hit With Class Action Suit Over Blackout

Southern California residents demand to be reimbursed for channels blacked out during the fee fight.


Blackout May Be Hurting WCBS Political Take

Considering Time Warner Cable serves a large chunk of New York City, it stands to reason the WCBS blackout would hurt the station’s efforts to attract ad dollars in the heavily contested Big Apple mayor’s race. And indeed, that appears to be the case with only one candidate having booked time covering any period during the darkness that started Aug. 2.


Senators Urge End To TWC-CBS Dispute

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Monday sent a letter to CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves and Time Warner Cable chief Glenn Britt, urging them to end the dispute that has resulted in CBS-owned channels being blacked out in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas for a second week.


TV Antenna Sales Jump Amid CBS Blackout

The blackout on Time Warner Cable systems, which is affecting 3.2 million customers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, has created a double-digit spike in antennas in those markets at RadioShack, a spokeswoman for the electronics retailer said Monday.


TWC: No Credits To Subs For Loss Of CBS

Time Warner Cable reiterated that it will not issue credits to 3 million-plus customers related to the blackout of CBS stations in New York, L.A. and Dallas — which is now in Day 11 — while it will credit Showtime subscribers who have lost the network.