Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

CBS Decides to Follow Networks in Cable Deals

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

CBS Decides to Follow Networks in Cable Deals

Article excerpt

By Skip Wollenberg

Associated Press

NEW YORK _ CBS Inc. is negotiating deals with cable operators that could bring it in line with other major networks that have agreed to take a cable channel in exchange for allowing cable systems carry their TV stations.

CBS has been seeking cash fees from cable operators for broadcast retransmissions. An impasse in the talks had threatened to deprive some cable susbcribers of access to CBS shows this fall, including baseball's World Series.

That could still happen if cable systems and CBS cannot work out agreements over the retransmission issue in the next few weeks, but it appeared Thursday that tensions between the network and the operators over the issue had eased.

The broadcaster said it was in conversations with several of the largest multiple system cable operators about a "proposed new programming venture" even as it continued to negotiate cash retransmission arrangements for the seven stations it owns.

The three other major networks, ABC, NBC and Fox, already have deals with key cable system operators under which they will get channel space for new networks instead of cash.

The New York Times reported in Thursday's editions that CBS had dropped its insistence on cash fees and had already reached an agreement with Comcast Cablevision, the nation's third biggest cable system operator, that could set a pattern for CBS deals with other cable operators.

The newspaper said Comcast gets to carry CBS-owned stations without paying a fee but will add a news and public affairs channel that CBS will create, ths story said.

CBS made no mention of Comcast in its terse two-paragraph statement, and CBS officials declined comment. Comcast spokesmen failed to return calls.

Bob Thomson, a spokesman for the biggest cable system operator Tele-Communications Inc., said TCI is having "promising conversations" with CBS, ABC and NBC after signing a deal with Fox. But he declined to be specific.

Media analysts said the developments illustrated the increasing power of the cable operators over broadcasters.

The moves also marked two key strategic reversals at CBS _ it had previously insisted on cash retransmission payments and had resisted for years suggestions that it diversify into cable programming. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.