In a move which I’m sure was shocking to no one, CBS and Time Warner found a way to set aside their insurmountable differences to work out an agreement JUST in time for the start of the NFL season. How fortuitous. I mean that’s just really good timing on their part.
CBS content should begin airing again for TWC subscribers starting tonight, around 6pm in fact. My DVR is very much looking forward to this reunification, and now I might finally find out how that Ted guy met the mother of his children.
In all seriousness however, details on the agreement are scarce, most likely to avoid any company overly losing face in the marketplace. This way both can turn to their customers and claim a victory.
This fight really has underscored a broader topic in telecommunications and media distribution. As networks pay more for content like airing NFL games, what rights and responsibilities do they have in broadcasting that content? To recoup their costs, where should they be allowed to display that content, and what influence should Cable and Satellite companies have over their ability to negotiate these deals? It’s a complicated dance.
We’ve seen a lot of consumer desire, especially among “cable cutters” to see offerings like HBO Go sold as a standalone web property like Netflix. Cable packages never brought us that dream of à la carte channel pricing, but a company like CBS might be able to make an end run around traditional distribution to serve customers directly. Though I’m sure Comcast, TWC, Verizon, etc loathe the idea of becoming “dumb pipes” to funnel competing content.
While I’m happy to have CBS back on my cable, this is just the beginning of a much larger conflict for viewers.
Is it weird to anyone else that both companies use an eye in their logo? Just me? Full CBS press release after the jump.