Moonves: Keep Government Out Of Carriage Negotiations
CBS chief Les Moonves has hit back at demands by some lawmakers for the FCC to step in and create rules that would prevent a repeat of the blackout that recently made CBS programming unavailable to viewers for more than a month as it battled with Time Warner Cable over carriage fees. To get the government involved is by far a really dumb thing, Moonves said in an appearance on CNBC. That is the last thing we want to do. We're in a free market. He then added, Look, we've been involved in hundreds of these negotiations. We have never gone dark for a day until a month ago. ... The last thing that anyone wants on either side is government intervention. Moonves also indicated that he realized that TWC would cave in as it became apparent that millions of its subscribers would be unable to receive CBS's coverage of the NFL. There's no question but that had a lot to do with our settling, he said. It's not just ironic that we settled six days before the NFL season began. We sort of knew that would happen, and the power of the NFL is great, and yes, the NFL and broadcast is a great partnership.