Good news for Time Warner Cable subscribers. You can put away those unsightly rabbit ears
on top of your television for local programming because CBS Corp. hammered out a deal with the world's second largest cable company to end what had become a month-long blackout
to millions of subscribers in Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas, the Los Angeles Times
Following weeks of negotiations, the two sides finally came to terms on a new distribution deal that will run almost five years. In doing so, subscribers in affected areas not only get to see the return of KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 in Los Angeles, but also the media giant's premium Showtime channel, home to the final season of Dexter and other popular shows.
It's not unusual for contract negotiations between service providers and broadcast stations to drag on or even turn a little bit ugly, but in most cases, new deals are inked before consumers get caught in the middle. That wasn't the case here, and to prevent subscribers from jumping ship as the NFL season got closer into view, TWC handed out free antennas to its subscribers.
That was a stop-gap solution to a bigger problem. Likewise, CBS was equally motivated to get a deal done before the start of the NFL season, lest it risk losing ratings and advertising dollars. Furthermore, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was encouraging the companies to quit the bickering.
"I am pleased CBS and Time Warner Cable have resolved their retransmission consent negotiations," FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said. "At the end of the day, media companies should accept shared responsibility for putting their audience's interests above other interests and do all they can to avoid these kinds of disputes in the future."
Terms of the new contract were not disclosed.