Sept 11 A Time Warner Cable Inc
executive said the pay TV operator lost subscribers during a
month-long blackout of CBS Corp in three major markets,
while the broadcast network's CEO said it suffered no financial
harm from rate dispute.
The absence of CBS and the company's Showtime cable channel
"definitely had a subscriber impact," Rob Marcus, Time Warner
Cable's president and chief operating officer, said on Wednesday
at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference.
"It suppressed connects on the front end, and it increased
disconnects of existing customers," Marcus said.
On Aug. 2, CBS went dark on Time Warner Cable systems in New
York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other cities. The network returned
when the two sides settled their differences on Sept. 2.
Speaking at the same conference, CBS Chief Executive Leslie
Moonves said the network did not take a financial hit during the
blackout. The top-rated broadcast network was not forced to give
advertisers "make goods," or compensation when a network misses
its promised ratings, he said.
"You will see at our third-quarter earnings there was no
harm done financially to CBS Corp from this," Moonves said.
Analysts had speculated that the blackout would have
impacted advertising revenues for the network.
Marcus, who is scheduled to become Time Warner Cable's CEO
on January 1, did not say how many customers the operator lost
during the dispute.
Macquarie Capital analyst Amy Yong, in a Sept. 2 research
note, estimated about 70,000 of the cable operator's 14.6
million subscribers were at risk of cancelling their service,
which she called "a relatively insignificant number."
Marcus said Time Warner Cable felt it had to fight CBS'
demands on the terms to carry the network because the issues at
stake "had such significant implications."
"While there was a fair amount of pain that we needed to
endure, at the end of the day, we felt like in order to achieve
our longer-term business objectives, that was the only path," he