Moonves Warns Cable Companies: Cbs Wants To Be Paid
CBS chief Les Moonves appeared adamant Tuesday in his insistence that the network be paid by cable operators for carrying its programs. At a Bear Stearns media conference in Palm Beach, FL, he indicated that the first contract renewal under which a fee for retransmission could be charged will involve a relatively small cable company reaching 3-5 million customers and will be negotiated in about six weeks. However, he said, he expected larger deals, coming up in 2008 and 2009, could "amount to hundreds of millions in revenues to the CBS network" for retransmission rights. Moonves declined to field questions about the lawsuit filed earlier in the day against former CBS Radio talk-show host Howard Stern, but did remark, "The good news is that not as many people will hear him as would have a year ago," referring to the much smaller audience that Stern is able to attract on the Sirius satellite radio platform.