CBS chief Les Moonves couldn’t resist alluding to his tense retransmission consent negotiations with Time Warner Cable — even though he didn’t want to address the matter directly in a conference call with analysts. “We will update you when we have more news,” he said in his prepared remarks, adding that CBS will remain “resolute” as it faces a Friday deadline when its stations might go dark on TWC cable systems in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. Still, he fired back at TWC’s claim that it shouldn’t pay a far higher monthly fee for shows that CBS broadcasts over the air for free. “Right now over 85% of our viewing is done through satellite, cable, or the phone companies. The remaining 15% are not the most advertiser friendly, appealing to advertising.” In his view, “he who has the most eye balls should get paid the most.” And while the average pay TV customer receives more than 100 channels “they’re watching 10 to 15 of them and we are one of them….Most everybody agrees and we are getting paid fairly in most places.” TWC and others have said that NYC viewers who lose CBS on cable might consider subscribing to Aereo, which streams broadcast signals without compensating stations. But Moonves says “we don’t think it’s catching on at all.”
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