Cbs Standing Firm In Talks With Time Warner Cable
CBS chief Les Moonves, who is facing down Time Warner Cable over retransmission fees, continued to talk tough during a second-quarter earnings call on Wednesday. Receiving fair value for our content is core to who we are, and we will remain resolute in this principle now and in all future negotiations, Moonves told analysts. With stronger-than-expected earnings during the quarter, CBS can apparently afford to take a hit if it is blacked out in areas served by TWC tomorrow at 5 p.m., the latest deadline for a new agreement to be signed. Time Warner is claiming that CBS is demanding a 600-percent increase, a figure that the broadcaster has called laughably inflated. But Moonves in Wednesday did not deny that CBS is demanding a significantly higher fee than it has received in the past. (Some reports have indicated that it is about $2 per month per subscriber.) He who has the most eyeballs should get paid the most, said Moonves. For the quarter, CBS reported net earnings of $472 million on revenue of $3.7 billion. Time Warner Cable also posted solid results for the quarter. Earnings amounted to $497 million, up 6.7 percent from the year-ago period, on revenue of $5.55 billion. In a related development, stations owned by Raycom Media in 36 markets went dark on the DISH network after the collapse of retransmissioin negotiations.