CBS signs Verizon deal, no Time Warner Cable progress

Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:17am EDT
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By Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc reached an agreement to carry CBS Corp television programming while cable rival Time Warner Cable Inc's blackout of CBS stretched into nearly its third week in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.

CBS' chief executive Leslie Moonves told employees in a memo on Thursday that the same terms of Verizon's deal were also offered to Time Warner Cable.

"You should know that Time Warner Cable has been offered almost exactly the same deal for CBS carriage to which Verizon has agreed," Moonves said in the memo seen by Reuters.

However, leading cable companies such as Time Warner Cable and Comcast usually receive more favorable terms than newer TV services such as Verizon because they have been around longer and have more subscribers.

Verizon on Thursday said it agreed to continued retransmission of CBS stations and wider distribution of CBS Sports network on its FiOS TV service in multiple markets around the country. Their previous agreement was not due to expire until the end of year, Verizon spokesman Bill Kula said.

Both companies did not disclose how much the deal is worth but typically analysts estimate a deal with a TV provider with 5 million subscribers can be worth upwards of $100 million.

Moonves expressed frustration in the memo over the fruitless negotiations with Time Warner Cable, although he did say that both sides will "keep talking."

"I cannot describe to you the frustration I feel at the way these negotiations have gone. Never in my most pessimistic moments did I ever think that they would have lasted this long and have been so difficult," Moonves said.   Continued...