Exactly one month since the blackout began -- and a week before football season starts -- CBS and Time Warner Cable have come to agreement to end their dispute over transmission and carriage rights, CBS' communications executive Dana McClintock announced Monday. CBS, Showtime and the rest of the company's slate of channels will be restored for Time Warner Cable customers by 6 p.m. ET.
The terms of the deal are not being disclosed, for now, so we don't know which side buckled under the pressure of the looming NFL season. Regardless, this could not come at a better time for the cable company or the cable subscriber. According to an internal memo from CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, though, it certainly seems the channel came away victorious:
“The final agreements with Time Warner Cable deliver to us all the value and terms that we sought in these discussions,” Moonves wrote. “We are receiving fair compensation for CBS content and we also have the ability to monetize our content going forward on all the new, developing platforms that are right now transforming the way people watch television.”
The NFL technically returns on Thursday night on NBC, but CBS hold the rights to carry multiple games every Sunday afternoon. The blackout that people were forced to cope with through August didn't force anyone to miss marquee programming. There was Under the Dome, sure, but other than that August is fairly barren when it comes to television. As we head into the fall, the prestige shows from CBS and Showtime are about to trot out their new episodes and football season starts again. CBS was starring directly into a black hole of lost advertising dollars if they couldn't broadcast those things to the 3.2 million people who subscribe to Time Warner Cable, while the cable company would face an ever bigger headache from angry customers threatening to finally switch providers should they not get their football fix every Sunday. It's a win for both sides.
What will happen to those lawsuits from customers looking for reimbursement for their month spent without CBS now? Your guess is as good as mine.