Time Warner Cable Says Talks Resumed With CBS After Blackout

Time Warner Cable Inc. said it’s talking with CBS Corp., almost a week after a breakdown in negotiations led the cable provider to block its customers from seeing the network.

“Our negotiators are communicating,” Bobby Amirshahi, a spokesman for New York-based Time Warner Cable, said today in an e-mail. Dana McClintock, a spokesman for CBS, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Time Warner Cable stopped broadcasting CBS to more than 3 million viewers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other markets on Aug. 2. The two sides have sparred over the fees that New York-based CBS charges to retransmit shows over Time Warner Cable’s system, as well as other issues, such as how content can be streamed over the Internet.

The parties had a discussion last night, said Martin Franks, a CBS executive vice president, as he answered questions at a New York City Council hearing today. The meeting addressed the effect of the blackout on consumers.

The two companies have largely made their arguments via the press, with Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Officer Glenn Britt publicly offering to sell CBS’s networks to customers a la carte -- a system that would let subscribers decide which of the channels they wanted individually. CBS called the proposal a “scam.”

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