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.
In a strange sequence of brinkmanship, their decision to pull back at the last minute from a possible blackout in key U.S. markets 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.
CBS receives about 88 cents per month per subscriber from pay-TV providers, estimates investment bank RBC Capital Markets. CBS generated about $250 million in retransmission revenue last year and expects to top $1 billion by 2017.
In comparison, ESPN, the clear market leader in fees from pay-TV providers, receives about 5.50 per subscriber, according to RBC Capital. Other popular cable channels, such as TNT, USA Network and FX, demand about $1 per subscriber.
TWC has said that CBS wants to raise the fee as much as 600%. That figure is based on an average fee TWC pays for all CBS stations in its service areas, TWC says.