Time Warner Cable and CBS said early Tuesday morning that they will shrug off their self-imposed midnight Tuesday deadline and continue to negotiate on a new retransmission contract, according to USAToday.
In a strange sequence of brinkmanship, their decision to pull back at the last minute from a possible blackout in key
was announced merely 30 minutes after they separately told reporters at around
midnight that they had walked away from their talks and allowed the network's
signals to go dark.
If the blackout had been carried out as threatened, about 3 million TWC customers in eight markets - primarily in
York City, Dallas and Los Angeles, which have
CBS-owned station - would have seen the No.1 network station disappear from
their TV lineup.
TWC spokeswoman Maureen Huff said the signals were being removed when CBS asked to stop the process. "They were dark in some but not all areas," she said. "At the request of CBS, we have halted going dark on their channels."
The parties will continue to negotiate with no established deadline, Huff said.
Their retransmission contract - which dictates how much CBS gets paid by TWC for its broadcast signals - expired at the end of June.
Their negotiation involves only the 13 CBS-owned TV stations in eight markets that are served by TWC. Showtime, TMC, Flix and Smithsonian - all fully or partly owned by CBS - are also included in the contract.
CBS-affiliate stations in other markets, even if they're in TWC service areas, are not affected by the negotiations.