This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

CBS-Time Warner Cable Wrestle; Britt Exits Amid $4 Billion Buyback: Media Roundup

Updated from 2:37 p.m. EDT to include additional analysis.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Time Warner Cable (TWC - Get Report), said Chief Executive Glenn Britt will retire at year's end and be replaced by Robert D. Marcus, the pay-TV provider's chief operating officer. Britt, 64, who became CEO in 2001, will also resign as chairman but remain on the company's board in a non-executive role, said New York-based Time Warner Cable, which announced in a separate statement that it had replenished its share buyback program to $4 billion.

Britt's impending retirement comes as Time Warner Cable is locked in a tug-of-war with CBS (CBS - Get Report) over the network's demands for higher fees to carry its programming at local television stations which it owns in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. CBS is likely to win the battle, says Wells Fargo media analyst Marci Ryvicker, as content providers attract an increasing number of viewers to their shows.

The companies agreed on Wednesday to extend the deadline on the expiration of CBS' re-transmission agreement to Monday, July 29, at 5 p.m. EDT. The extension indicates that, at very least, progress is being made to avoid a blackout of CBS programming in those three markets. Shows such as The Big Bang Theory hang in the balance.

The talks are focused on the length of the agreement and the price that Time Warner Cable would be required to pay for each subscriber that receives CBS programming in those areas. At the root of the contentious negotiations lies a debate over whether network programming should be viewed as free, or whether third-parties such as cable-TV providers, should be required to pay for that content.

"The cable-TV guys feel this is something that was supposed to be free, and that it's not fair to pass it on to the customers," Ryvicker said in a phone interview. "But the truth is that times have changed, and broadcasters can change their relationship with the MVPDs [multichannel video programming distributor]. The business model has changed."

Change occurred in 1992 when Congress passed legislation giving local-TV owners the choice whether to require pay-TV providers to air their programming, the so-called "must carry" clause, or to negotiate a free for that content, known as a "retransmission consent." Local TV-station owners, almost uniformly, now require pay-Tv operators to negotiation a retransmission consent agreement, which is what CBS and Time Warner Cable officials and their lawyers are haggling over.

Time Warner Cable makes the case that CBS and other networks broadcast their programming for free via over public airwaves, and therefore should expect to receive re-transmission fees that reflect its widespread availability, according to company spokeswoman Maureen Huff.

Yet Ryvicker argued that CBS, as the content producer, will likely win its latest round of bargaining with Time Warner Cable on the premise that increasing television viewership will ultimately bring more subscribers to pay-TV operators.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
CBS $50.98 0.87%
TWC $183.80 0.08%
AAPL $118.03 -0.71%
FB $105.41 -0.31%
GOOG $748.15 -0.02%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,813.39 +1.20 0.01%
S&P 500 2,088.87 -0.27 -0.01%
NASDAQ 5,116.1430 +13.3350 0.26%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs