A New Front (Group) In the CBS/Time Warner Cable Rumpus

First there was this full-page New York Times ad from Time Warner Cable whacking CBS for the retransmission fees it’s demanding from the cable giant.

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Clever, eh? And catch this in the body copy:

CBS wants Time Warner Cable to pay 600% more to get WCBS-TV than we pay in other places for the same CBS programming.

That’s 600% more than we pay for CBS in other cities from coast to coast.

Yes, well, maybe that’s because New York is 600% better than other cities from coast to coast. Besides, why should the Big Town be penalized because other places don’t know from haggling? (Find more of Time Warner Cable’s whining here.

As the hardworking staff previously noted, CBS has responded with its own full-page New York Times ad.

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Now comes a new player in the retrans soap opera: the American Television Alliance, an industry coalition of which Time Warner Cable is a partner.

Here’s their NYT ad:

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That’s a nice little misdirection play, eh: “The American people give the broadcasters our airwaves for free, and they respond by blacking us out? We’re not that dumb.”

But apparently they think we are, because the truth is all those stations are still available over the air.  It’s on cable they’re blacked out, and that takes a cooperative effort.

Uh, make that uncooperative effort.

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