SBD/August 13, 2013/Media

U.S. Senators Urge CBS, TWC To Reach Deal, As Consumers Call For More FCC Involvement

U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) yesterday "sent a letter" to CBS President & CEO Les Moonves and Time Warner Cable Chair & CEO Glenn Britt "urging both to agree on a contract," according to Roger Yu of USA TODAY. The letter read in part, "The status quo is unfair to the millions of your customers who are caught in the middle of your dispute, and we strongly encourage both sides to resolve it immediately." Yu reports several consumer groups also "called for more involvement from federal regulators." Sports has "become a rallying point for proponents of a quick resolution," as several NFL preseason games "were blacked out in the affected markets." Sports Fan Coalition New York/Tri-State Chapter Chair Scott Weiss said, "We'd like to see sports shows put back on air. The FCC should get involved to make sure fans don't get hurt in these disputes" (USA TODAY, 8/13). Moffett Research analyst Craig Moffett predicted that TWC "will only be able to hold out until football season begins." CABLEFAX DAILY notes there are "some unique dynamics in the NY market this time." But Moffett said, "We're still talking about a relatively run of the mill battle for leverage where the broadcaster ultimately has the upper hand." BTIG Research analysts "agreed that TWC's negotiating position will weaken 'dramatically'" in mid-September, when the NFL returns to CBS and the fall TV season begins (CABLEFAX DAILY, 8/13).
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