CBS Threatening Massive Blackout if Unprecedented Demands Aren’t Met

Washington D.C. July 19, 2013 – Over three million viewers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas could be without CBS next week if the company continues its unprecedented cash grab. The company is seeking 600% more in retransmission consent fees than Time Warner Cable is paying other areas, and is threatening one of the biggest blackouts ever if its demands aren’t met.

Retransmission consent was supposed to help fund local programming and protect small local stations. Instead, as a recent USA Today article shows, broadcasters are now using it to purchase more stations and to pay for expensive network programming. Is there any doubt that CBS’ demands will go toward these ends, rather than local programming?

Broadcasters will keep jacking up retrans fees unless Congress steps in and protects consumers. It’s time for video rules that were written in this century.