CBS CEO Les Moonves said the recent carriage battle with Time Warner Cable set a mark for future retransmission consent deals, but added that the month-long skirmish – where the network was dark to about 3 million TWC customers – was not particularly enjoyable for the network.
CBS went dark to TWC subscribers on Aug. 2 and stayed off the cable operator’s systems in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas until Sept. 2. While terms of the agreement were not disclosed it has been widely believed that CBS came up with the sweeter end of the deal. In the aftermath, TWC reported a loss of about 306,000 residential video subscribers in the third quarter, largely attributed to the CBS dispute.
"Time Warner Cable did sort of set a mark," Moonves said at the UBS Global Media & Communications conference in New York on Tuesday, adding that CBS inked a similar retrans pact with Verizon Communications during the spat. "As the deals with affiliates come up, there's a new marketplace. …Each deal is better than the one before."