UPDATE, 12:58 PM: Time Warner Cable denies Martin Franks’ claim that it is trying to keep CBS from doing business with new entrants. “Both our expired and proposed agreements with CBS place no restriction on their ability to sell all of their product to Netflix, Amazon, Intel or any other entity, or continue to give all of their best content away for free online, as they have to date.”
PREVIOUS, 11:42 AM: CBS EVP Martin Franks made the disclosure –which Time Warner Cable confirms — in response to questions at a meeting today called by a New York City Council subcommittee looking at the nearly week-long programming black out on TWC’s systems. No details yet on what compromises, if any, the companies are making in the dispute. It largely involves the price TWC pays for CBS-owned programming. There also was no sign in Franks’ prepared remarks of a thaw in the companies’ frosty relationship. “Please remember,” he told local lawmakers, “until now, CBS’ record of good faith successful retransmission consent negotiations was perfect…while Time Warner Cable’s record is littered with many public disputes.” He added that TWC “could easily choose to absorb these programming costs and still be very profitable.” Franks also said that the cable company wants to “hamstring our ability to do business with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus and other new entrants that pose a new competitive threat to their former, cozy, unchallenged monopoly status.”
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