CBS mum on details of retransmission deals

CBS said last week that it had reached retransmission consent agreements with nine cable operators. The broadcaster wouldn't name them, however, or reveal the financial terms of the deals.

CBS said the deals cover more than a million subscribers, a number that indicates most involved are small cable operators. The deals encompass analog, digital, multicast and HD rights to CBS programming on its O&O stations.

"Clearly there is a new paradigm in the marketplace — one that recognizes the value of the content that we bring to our various audiences," said CBS president Leslie Moonves.

At recent investor conferences, Moonves said the CBS network could make 50 cents per subscriber from deals with cable and telcom operators. In an interview with the New York Times after making the retrans deals, however, the Moonves did not provide any details.

"The important thing here is the precedent," Moonves told the Times. "The world is changing and this proves it."

Analysts said that CBS is positioning itself for the future. In 2010, the company will renegotiate its deal with Comcast. Comcast executives have said they will never pay broadcasters a subscriber fee for programming.