“You will see at our third quarter earnings that there was no harm done to CBS Corporation,” the company chief told investors at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference about the 32-day blackout on Time Warner Cable systems. “It didn’t hurt us one iota financially.” Moonves says that “August is our slowest time in primetime” and among national advertisers “everybody hung in there.” He used the forum to take a few shots at TWC, which acknowledged today that it lost customers in the dispute. Although “there are no good guys or bad guys from a consumer’s point of view,” Moonves says CBS had a PR advantage over TWC: “These are the guys who show up six hours late for an installation.” He adds that he’s “fairly certain” that federal officials won’t become more involved in retransmission battles. If the FCC did then “they won’t be able to do anything else.” He also continued to pooh-pooh the possibility of a threat from Aereo, which streams local broadcast programming. The service “just got a huge defeat” in a DC court decision against a similar streamer, Alki David’s FilmOn. Networks say that the services breach their copyrights; Aereo and FilmOn say that they merely help consumers access programming that broadcasters already transmit for free. “We think legally they won’t be able to exist.” If he’s wrong, Moonves has threatened to make some of CBS’ programming exclusive to cable. “It’s something we don’t want to happen,” he says predicting that “Aereo will lose, or the technology just won’t work.”
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