Time Warner Cable offers CBS truce with independent pricing proposal

Last week, Time Warner Cable and CBS developed a squabble when the cable provider removed CBS from its service in several markets, among them being Los Angeles and New York. The decision caused CBS to retaliate by blocking access to full episodes on CBS.com, with the network saying that it would restore access when Time Warner restored the network on its service. Now a truce has been proposed.

The issue was caused by failure between the two companies to successfully negotiate retransmission fees, with the end result being inconvenience for subscribers on both ends. CBS made a statement on Friday that it would make its online content accessible to users again once Time Warner Cable restored its service, but the cable provider has come up with a different proposal.

To bring the so-called blackouts to an end, Time Warner Cable's CEO Glen Britt proposed that the service provider would let CBS be offered to subscribers "a la carte," meaning that the individual subscriber would have to choose the network and pay for its specifically rather than having it included within a typical network package.

Under such a deal, says the CEO, customers would be allowed to "decide for themselves how much value they ascribe to CBS programming." Time Warner Cable made the proposal known to the media this evening, but CBS has not yet made any public statements in response. Thus far, subscribers from both companies are still affected by the blackouts, which started Friday and spanned the weekend.

According to the New York Times, the decision by Time Warner Cable to drop CBS from many of its markets resulted in about 3 million people no longer having access to the network. Word had it on Friday that negotiations would start again today, something that appears to have panned out. One source had stated that it could be a couple of weeks before anything was agreed upon.