Things have gotten hairy between Time Warner Cable and CBS regarding fees. Time Warner has balked at paying inflated re-transmission fees by which they can show CBS channels to their viewers, whereas CBS says the fees are reasonable. How reasonable are they? As negotiations have been pushed back further and further through Monday night, Time Warner finally took CBS off the air for millions of viewers in New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles – but this for only a half an hour. Warner claims CBS is charging a 600 percent increase in fees, whereas CBS said that is incorrect, with little talk, though, of exact figures, but suggesting that the increase was between 20 and 25 percent.
Tim Warner had announced it is going to drop CBS hit shows like “Under the Dome” from millions of subscribers, saying “the outrageous demands for fees at CBS Corporation have forced Time Warner Cable to remove several of its networks and broadcast stations from our customers’ lineups,” and said the fee increases were “out of line and unfair,” and that “sooner or later CBS will threaten others and go dark.” Time Warner also said CBS was charging them more than others.
Necessarily not ones to leave their mouths shut during the dispute, CBS had their own spiel, saying, according to the New York Times, “CBS remains resolute in the pursuit of fair compensation for our programming and will use the full resources available to us to make sure that Time Warner Cable subscribers are aware of its shortsighted, anti-consumer strategy.”
Whether they are anti-consumer, or anti-exorbitant fees is up for grabs, but considering this dispute, its probably the latter. Research from SNL Kagan estimates that retransmission fees will cost $3 billion in this year, and $6 billion by 2018, as was reported by the Associated Press. Whether such hikes are justified will require continued heated sparring between those involved.