Normally, content providers and pay-TV platforms striking deals to deliver channels to subscribers is sort of non-news. But not every signed contract comes against the backdrop of an almost month-long blackout affecting millions of customers. While Time Warner Cable is still CBS-less, Verizon has locked up the broadcaster's channels for another three years, including CBS Sports Network, which has been missing in many of FiOS's larger markets.
If you read between the lines of the press release (embedded after the break), you'll see this message isn't aimed at customers or even the news media, it's directed squarely at Time Warner. New York, Los Angeles and Dallas -- the three cities that are currently mired in the blackout -- are called out specifically as areas where CBS stations are available through FiOS TV. As part of the statement released, president of television networks distribution Ray Hopkins said, "This deal was reached in a short period of time, and CBS has once again achieved fair value for our over-the-air rights." And, just to rub some salt in the wound, the press release ends with a reminder that CBS also owns the highly desirable Showtime. With the war of words clearly continuing between the two feuding media giants, we wouldn't hold our breath for a resolution anytime soon.
CBS CORPORATION AND VERIZON REACH CONTENT CARRIAGE AGREEMENT
Published on: 08/22/2013 | All 2013 Press Releases
Three-Year Deal Includes Retransmission Consent for CBS Owned Stations on Verizon FiOS TV
NEW YORK – August 22, 2013 – CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) have reached a new agreement for continued retransmission of CBS owned stations and wider distribution of CBS Sports Network on Verizon's FIOS TV in multiple markets across the country, it was announced today by both companies. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased to reach this agreement with Verizon and its FIOS service," said Ray Hopkins, President, Television Networks Distribution, CBS Corporation. "This deal was reached in a short period of time, and CBS has once again achieved fair value for our over-the-air rights. Verizon is a distribution partner of growing importance to us that provides excellent service to its expanding number of subscribers, and we are glad that this partnership will continue and grow."
"We've reached this agreement in partnership with CBS for our customers, so that they may continue to enjoy CBS content on FiOS," said Terry Denson, Vice President of Video Content and Strategy at Verizon. "Verizon continues to address areas of change where necessary in current policies to better reflect the interests of consumers."
As part of the agreement, CBS owned stations in various Verizon markets including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, will continue to be distributed to FiOS TV subscribers. This includes all of the approximately 3.5 million subscribers served in markets where CBS owns television stations. (FiOS has approximately 5 million subscribers in total.) FiOS TV will also continue to provide – free to the viewer – CBS programming via Verizon's industry-leading video on demand services to all subscribers.
In addition, the CBS Sports Network will dramatically increase its distribution with FiOS. Separately, CBS and Verizon have an existing agreement for FiOS to carry Showtime Networks and Smithsonian that will continue in the years to come as well.
About CBS Corporation
CBS Corporation NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company that creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. CBS owns the most-watched television network in the U.S. and one of the world's largest libraries of entertainment content, making its brand – "the Eye" – one of the most recognized in business. The Company's operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, radio, local TV, film, outdoor advertising, and interactive and socially responsible media. CBS's businesses include CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, TVGN (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Lionsgate), Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio, CBS Outdoor, CBS Television Studios, CBS Global Distribution Group (CBS Studios International and CBS Television Distribution), CBS Interactive, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Films and CBS EcoMedia. For more information, go to www.cbscorporation.com.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 100 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries. A Dow 30 company with nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 180,900. For more information, visit about.verizon.com.
With more than 50,000 on-demand movies and TV shows available each month, FiOS TV offers more VOD choices than any of its cable competitors. Verizon customers enjoy the Internet at speeds many times over the national average, and have the option of six speed tiers from which to choose starting at 15/5 Megabits per second (Mbps) to faster FiOS Quantum speeds of 50/25 mbps to 75/35, 300/65 and the recently introduced 500/100 service.