Cbs Vs. Time Warner Cable: Now A Battle Of Words

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Time Warner Cable chief Glenn Britt made a new offer to CBS chief Les Moonves on Monday: Let's remove CBS from the basic-cable lineup and offer it to subscribers on an à la carte basis. This way, rather than our debating the point, we would allow customers to decide for themselves how much value they ascribe to CBS programming, Britt wrote in a letter to Moonves. The CBS CEO wasted little time replying to the proposal, firing off a letter to Britt rebuking him for releasing his letter simultaneously to the media, which, he said, made me suspect that the document was not, as I hoped, a sincere offer but rather a public relations gesture of some kind. Sadly, my suspicions were more than justified. Moonves called Britt's proposal a well-wrought distraction. The à la carte proposal amounted to grandstanding, Moonves contended, noting that all Time Warner subscribers in Los Angeles are seeing their cable bills increase to cover the costs of TWC's billion-dollar deals for Lakers and Dodgers telecasts whether they watch those telecasts or not.



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