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What is the CBS Time Warner Feud About?

August 12, 2013
Plain English Version

Time Warner cable customers are now seeing some of their favorite CBS shows taken off the air. At least for a brief time.

The underlying reason is that CBS and Time Warner are fighting about money. CBS wants the cable company to pay it more for showing (or retransmitting as it is called) their shows to Time Warner cable customers.

Time Warner says these shows are free for customers who do not have a cable connection. It said, “CBS demanded an outrageous increase for programming that CBS delivers free over the air and online.”

CBS says it seeks “Fair compensation for the most-watched television network with the most popular content in the world.”

What does this mean to consumers? Most likely it means more blackouts ahead. The networks want more money for their shows. The cable companies, which are growing faster than the networks, do not want to pay more or charge customers more.

The media industry is changing. More people are getting free content over the Internet.

Observers say a revolution is in the works. It may change the practice of “bundling.” which makes viewers pay for many cable channels they do not want to watch.

The opposite approach is called “à la carte.” Viewers pay only for the channels they do want to watch. CBS  does not want to be the only network Time Warner is offering in à la carte.

Another threat to the networks is a company called Aereo. It streams TV signals onto the Internet, after picking them up free over the air. CBS wants none of this. It is fighting Aereo in court.

Stay tuned for big changes in how you watch television.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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