Now You Don't See It (Cbs, That Is); Now You Do
At about midnight Eastern time last night, a message appeared on the screens of Time Warner Cable subscribers on the channels that had been presenting CBS programming beginning with the words, CBS has demanded an outrageous increase in the amount we and our customers pay for programming that CBS delivers for free over the air and online, requiring us to remove their stations from your lineup... . CBS chief Les Moonves was attending a party at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills when a reporter approached him and showed him the message. We're at war with Time Warner Cable, Moonves commented. A few minutes later, to the surprise of everyone, CBS's programming returned to the screens, with no explanation. A TWC spokesperson said only, At the request of CBS, we have halted going dark on their channels. No further comment came until five hours later, when reporters, keeping an all-night vigil, received word that the two sides had agreed to an extension of their current contract until Friday at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. There was no explanation. Daily Variety reported, however, that TWC halted the blackout after CBS came back to the negotiating table.