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-- over an hour from now one of the Big Three television network could go dark on a major cable carrier.
Millions of customers of Time Warner in cities including New York Dallas Los Angeles are due to lose CBS programming at 5 o'clock eastern time this afternoon.
The two mega companies are in a standoff over what else but money CBS wants Time Warner to pay to carry its television stations.
If there is a blackout people in the country's two biggest markets will miss out on shows like sixty minutes and Big Brother.
Let's bring in media analyst Howard Kurtz one of the new members of the fair balanced team -- nice to see you.
Nice to see -- -- -- -- lot of money on the line.
Absolutely -- but you know to the average viewer this is like the Iran Iraq War to corporate giants accusing each other of greed there's nobody to root for.
It kind of reminds leadership of the battles between the White House in the capital folks behind me.
Over the budget which they threaten to shut the government down in the -- they'll be a last minute settlement because both sides need each other.
Yeah I guess one of -- -- Seawright maybe even one of the sticks for Time Warner is.
Here in new York at least CBS is on channel two that's -- that's great real estate you don't want to lose it.
And Time Warner Cable is threatening to kick CBS out of that prime position.
If it doesn't capitulate what's happening here is -- CBS is asking for a lot more money in subscriber fees more than doubling.
What it gets now that's increasingly important source of revenue for the broadcast networks didn't used to be but -- TV viewership goes down more people migrate online.
-- what really made this nasty and more than just an industry battle that nobody else on the outside would know much about.
Are the advertising campaigns in which both sides are accusing each other for example Time Warner Cable saying the CBS is giving York a black -- a play on that.
CBS logo and CBS saying that.
Time Warner wants to -- Big Brother from your house that of course a reference to the the big time reality show it Showtime's involved -- two bit right.
As part of the CBS empire yes and so if this were to become a protracted fight people in New York LA Dallas possibly a couple of the markets would lose access to.
Not just those entertainment programs news CBS sports of course -- but based on the experience here I think even if it goes into overtime day or two somehow they'll come to a settlement.
Beat these fees are in the grand scheme of things relatively -- -- -- here on cable we.
We get to two dollars -- a three may be an all revenue that's not exact but something like that.
From the subscriber fees but for the broadcast television it's it's kind of news.
It is true and CBS is getting less than one dollar purse per per per subscriber.
And yet CBS and the other broadcast networks because of declining viewership time shifting to VCRs and all kinds of things like that.
Now decide that's a pot of gold that they would like some more up.
Time Warner Cable of course another cable systems don't wanna give up a lot of that cash flow back and that's why I think neither party looks good in this neither party looks particularly sympathetic because it is after all the fight about money.
And which both sides want more more more as you were saying in the -- you know.
People just wanna watch their -- TV they don't want to hear about this stuff.
-- those companies a load of money but I remember the last time it happen in this market at least.
It might have been fox -- I don't remember who was but but the cable company puts it a nasty note up on the screen instead of the program it -- they didn't call them -- evil.
That you use any communication -- you can dislike of presidential campaign gets really nasty and often these.
These last minute brinksmanship episodes come just before the Super Bowl or some major event that of course everybody wants to see.
I'd like to add to the drama here and say this is to go on for weeks or months but I don't think so none of them must look like how it's great to see you welcome to -- -- thanks.
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