CBS renews FiOS deal during Time Warner fight

CBS renews deal with Verizon FiOS, expands CBS Sports distribution as Time Warner spat lingers

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- As CBS's dispute with Time Warner Cable continues, the company renewed an agreement with Verizon FiOS and says the deal will expand FiOS' distribution of CBS Sports.

CBS Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. did not disclose terms of their agreement. The deal provides for the continued retransmission of CBS-owned stations and wider distribution of CBS Sports Network on Verizon FiOS TV. CBS-owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas will continue to be distributed to FiOS subscribers, and FiOS distribution of CBS Sports "will increase dramatically," CBS said Thursday.

The move comes right before football season starts. The NFL's regular season starts Sept. 5, and CBS's first broadcast will be on Sunday Sept. 8.

CBS said the deal was reached in a short time and includes fair value for over the air rights, a reference to its ongoing feud with Time Warner Inc. Since Aug. 2, Time Warner has blacked out CBS stations to about 3.2 million customers in cities including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. The two sides are in a dispute over how much Time Warner pays for CBS programming and how much of the network's content it can use online.

However Time Warner and CBS said Wednesday they had agreed to temporary lift the blackout on CBS so New Yorkers can catch the debates in the last weeks of the primary races for mayor and the Democratic race for city comptroller.

On Wednesday Time Warner Cable said customers affected by the CBS blackout will get a free preview of the Tennis Channel through the U.S. Open tournament, which begins Monday.

Shares of CBS rose $1.71, or 3.4 percent, to $52.56 in afternoon trading. Verizon shares lost 16 cents to $47.11.

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