Daily Ticker

CBS Wins Showdown with Time Warner Cable, But What About Customers?

Daily Ticker

Are you ready for some football?

3 million cable customers across the U.S. certainly are now.

CBS (CBS) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) came to an agreement yesterday that ends a month-long blackout of all CBS programming for customers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and five other markets. The NFL season starts Thursday and the first regular season games on CBS air Sunday.

As The New York Times points out, it seems clear that CBS got what it wanted -- increased subscriber fees -- for Showtime, CBS Sports Network and its other offerings:

"Executives on both sides acknowledged early in the talks that CBS was seeking an increase to about $2 per subscriber, up from about $1. Separate statements from the chief executives of each company indicated that the outcome apparently tipped heavily toward CBS. Its president, Leslie Moonves, said in a memo to the company staff that the network had secured virtually all of what it was seeking."

It’s “hard to believe this isn’t a CBS victory,” Richard Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG, told Bloomberg News.

It's also hard to believe that these cost increases won't get passed along to cable customers like you. According to SNL Kagan, the average cable subscriber pays $128 a month for TV, Internet and phone services -- that's a huge jump over the $48 customers paid back in 2001. And all indications are that this cost will continue to rise.

Related: Cable Bills Will Rise, No Matter the Result in Time Warner Cable-CBS Fight: Porter Bibb

Porter Bibb, managing partner at Mediatech Capital Partners, told The Daily Ticker last month that consumers can expect to soon pay additional usage fees for videos, TV and movies watched over the Internet as cable companies try to recover losses from traditional network agreements.

Henry Blodget warns in the video above that soon enough customers may just walk away from their cable boxes. "The future" is all about "going around the network" by watching online, says Blodget. So perhaps Time Warner Cable and CBS are divvying up the spoils, before the heyday of cable passes? Stay tuned.

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