CBS Claims TWC Blackout Has Negligible Impact On National Ratings

Although the blackout of CBS stations by Time Warner Cable continues to be loud and visible -- via each company's advertising/promotion -- CBS says the move is having minimal effect on overall viewership. CBS Research estimates a minor impact on the first three nights -- a 1% drop in national ratings.

Looking at Sunday, August 4 ratings, CBS earned a Nielsen preliminary 6.5 million average viewers and a 1.3 rating/4 share among key 18-49 viewers. A week before on Sunday, CBS earned 6.6 million viewers and the same 1.3/4 rating  among 18-49 viewers.

This past Sunday, CBS ran reruns of “60 Minutes” and “The Mentalist” and original episodes of “Big Brother” and “Unforgettable." The week before, CBS ran original episodes of “60 Minutes," “Big Brother," “Unforgettable” and a rerun of “The Mentalist.”

In a release, the company says: ‘Because of CBS’ strong ratings growth this summer, the net effect of the blackout will not present an overall ratings hardship. ... In addition, August is traditionally one of the lowest months of the year for ratings and advertising revenue, making the overall financial impact of the blackout negligible.”

CBS and Time Warner have been in a weeks-long negotiation over the carriage of CBS-owned stations, as well as cable networks that include Showtime and TMC. Late on Friday, Time Warner decided to pull CBS stations and its cable networks off the air.

CBS estimates that Time Warner Cable’s removal of CBS stations is affecting 3.2 million customers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.
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