Media Buying and Inbound Marketing Blog

You May Not Be Watching CBS on Time Warner Tomorrow

By Jane Peters on July 24, 2013 |


By Emily Linthicum, Social Media Manager

The debate between Time Warner Cable Inc and CBS heats up as the deadline approaches. Amedia planner OH decision must be reached on Thursday, July 25 by 9 a.m. whether Time Warner Cable is going to drop CBS network stations or agree to their terms on higher fees for the right to retransmit its programming. The original deadline was July 24 and was delayed because the July sweeps seasons ends on July 25 which will help determine advertising prices.

As the outgoing debate comes to a head, viewers and marketers are anxiously awaiting the final outcome. The issue at stake is CBS is seeking a higher fee from Time Warner Cable to carry its TV stations. According to Leslie Moonves, Chief Executive at CBS, “There is a very real threat that Time Warner Cable is going to drop our stations inNew York,Los AngelesandDallas”. 

Media buyers and marketers must consider that CBS is one of the highest-rated broadcast channels and if Time Warner decides not to absorb the higher cost they will lose their three million subscribers in three of their key markets.  

“As you can imagine, we don’t take this situation lightly,” Moonves states. CBC thinks that Time Warner Cable is being cheap and not paying them enough for the amount of weight they pull in. Moonves disputes that other cable networks that have smaller ratings than CBS are getting more in monthly subscription fees. Popular CBC programs include “The Big Bang Theory”, “60 Minutes” and “NCIS”.

The new deal is said to start around $1 per subscribers and increase over time compared to the current 50 cents per subscriber per month from Time Warner Cable. Networks such as TNT and Fox news receive a similar amount as proposed by CBS. However, that is far less then what ESPN receives which could lead Time Warner Cable into the same issue with other stations who feel worthy of an increase per month if they accept the deal with CBS.

Time Warner Cable argues that they “offered them significant fees,” “But their current demands don’t represent a good value for our customers,” according to a Time Warner spokesperson. They also stated that they will help subscribers find CBS programming if a blackout does occur.

Sites like Hulu, Netflix and Aero may be crossing their fingers that Time Warner does not accept the deal. These sites have many of CBS’s programs available online within a day of its original airing.

What will your media strategy be if CBS is not on Time Warner in these major markets?

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