struggles continue with Time Warner Cable, CBS Corp. has made a three-year deal with another big multichannel TV-video service, Verizon Communications.
Verizon FiOS service has about 5
million subscribers, which includes 3.5 million in markets where CBS stations exist. This includes big market stations in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas where CBS stations are still off of Time
Warner Cable systems due to its long on-and off again negotiation over carriage rights.
Time Warner Cable, with some 13 million U.S. subscribers - the second biggest cable TV distributor --
dropped CBS on Aug. 2 in eight markets.
In a memo to CBS staffers, Les Moonves, president/CEO of CBS Corp says the Verizon deal is virtually identical to the offer made 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.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Given that, Moonves wrote he was “mystified” that the battle with Time Warner has taken so long. “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.”
As part of the Verizon deal, CBS says it gets to retain
its digital streaming video rights -- something which is also at issue with the Time Warner Cable negotiations. A statement from CBS said: “FiOS TV will also continue to provide – free to
the viewer – CBS programming via Verizon’s industry-leading video on demand services to all subscribers.”
For its nascent CBS Sports Network, the Verizon deal will be
available on a broader tier, which will add millions of subscribers to its distribution. CBS and Verizon have an existing agreement for FiOS to carry Showtime Networks and Smithsonian