New York City Mayoral candidate and City Council speaker Christine Quinn is urging CBS (NYSE: CBS) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) to settle their dispute over retransmission consent and not disrupt service to customers. According to NY1 news channel, Quinn sent letters to both sides asking them to negotiate without disrupting service and she even threatened to schedule an oversight hearing to hold both parties accountable to the public.
Time Warner Cable and CBS agreed on Friday to extend their deadline for reaching a new retransmission-consent agreement until today at 5 p.m. EST. If an agreement is not reached, CBS could be removed from the Time Warner Cable System. Quinn is asking both companies to continue negotiations without CBS going off the air, even if no agreement is reached by the deadline.
"We appreciate Speaker Quinn's letter. We're fighting to keep our customers' bills as low as possible. In the event of a blackout, we'll also work hard to make sure that our customers are aware that they still have options to watch their favorite CBS programming for free," said a Time Warner Cable spokesperson in a statement to NY1 news channel.
Time Warner claims CBS is demanding a 600 percent increase in re-transmission fees. CBS maintains that it is getting a smaller share of what Time Warner Cable pays other networks for their programming.
This isn't the first cable dispute that Quinn has become involved in. In February 2012, she threatened to grill Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) CEO Jim Dolan in public if they didn't resolve a dispute over a new carriage agreement for regional sports network MSG.
"If these discussions cannot produce a resolution within two weeks, the City Council will hold hearings and request that both parties explain themselves to the public," Quinn wrote in a letter to Dolan and Britt.
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