Time Warner Cable Sued by Customers Fed Up With CBS Blackout

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Moffett estimated that if Time Warner does refund its customers for the lost programming, based on the cost of CBS alone, a subscriber would receive about 40 to 75 cents a month.

"If this thing drags on for three weeks, you might argue for something like 50 cents, and it's not unlikely that Time Warner Cable would voluntarily refund that amount to subscribers anyway," he said.

Moffett said he expects more disputes involving broadcast contracts, like that of CBS and Time Warner Cable, which typically expire after about five years, on average.

Moffett said disputes between "lesser" companies in smaller markets, like the one between Dish Network and Raycom that blacked out 36 cities until it was settled on Friday night, "don't even register anymore."

"Give the TWC/CBS blackout extra style points for occurring in New York -- the news media naturally tends to gaze at its own navel -- but still we're talking a relatively run-of-the-mill occurrence," he said.

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