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CBS Scores Retransmission With Cablevision

NEW YORK: CBS and Cablevision nailed down a retransmission agreement for carriage of the CBS broadcast network and several sister cable channels. Cablevision has around 3 million subscribers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Under deal terms, Cablevision will continue carrying WCBS2 in New York; Philadelphia’s CBS affiliate KYW-TV and CW affiliate WPSG-TV, on Jersey systems. CBS College Sports Network and the Smithsonian Channel will be added to Cablevision’s digital premium tier.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. On average, CBS (NYSE: CBS.A) has been getting about 50 cents per subscriber a month, according to Reuters. The media company reached a retrans agreement earlier this year with Time Warner Cable; Comcast is the last large cable operator with which CBS needs to negotiate a new retrans deal. It’s current contract with Comcast expires in 2012, reports indicate. The DirecTV contract is up that same year.

CBS said it expects to take in around $250 million in retransmission revenues in 2012, up from $26 million last year. The Cablevision news had no appreciable impact on share price, which was around $12.20 in early afternoon trading today.

More on CBS:
October 1, 2009: “Moody’s Goes Stable on Broadcasting”
Moody’s Investors Service changed its outlook on the U.S. TV broadcast industry from “negative” to “stable.” Moody’s said it expects broadcast revenue declines to ease throughout the remainder of this year, and to start growing again next year with political and a mild, overall recovery.

September 16, 2009: “Analyst Upgrades CBS”
“While we may be a little late to the party given CBS’s 34 percent gain since Aug. 6, versus the S&P 500, which is up 5 percent, we still see [approximately] 30 percent potential upside to the current price.”

July 28, 2009: “CBC Expected to Meet the Street”
"Given that Street estimates for CBS have continued to come down over the past month or so, we do not anticipate another significant miss, like what we saw in Q1. Nor do we anticipate a revision to management’s full year [operating income before depreciation and amortization] guidance of $1.725 billion to $1.925 billion. We remain at $1.742 billion.”

July 1, 2009:“Deutshe Bank Cuts CBS Forecast”
The investment bank scaled back its outlook because of skepticism about a rally in the media segment. Some investors see signs of the advertising market on a rebound the Deutsche analyst said, but that would be challenging “given the sorry state of the consumer.”

June 22, 2009:CBS CFO Steps Down
Fred Reynolds relinquished his CFO duties July 20, though he'll continue as an executive vice president, working with CEO Leslie Moonves on the transition of his responsibilities until his official retirement Aug. 15. He'll be succeeded by Joseph Ianiello, who's been deputy CFO since November.

June 8, 2009: “S&P Cuts CBS Credit Rating
Standard & Poor’s cut CBS’s corporate credit rating from BBB to BBB- on Friday. The rating outlook is negative, and was downgraded in part on falling automotive revenues. A BBB- rating is S&P’s lowest investment grade. CBS had debt of more than $7 billion at the end of March.

May 28, 2009: “CBS Increases Senior Note Offering
CBS Corp. is reopening its senior note offering to raise another $250 million. The 8.875 percent notes come due in 2019. CBS previously issued $350 million in likewise notes on May 13, for a current total of $600 million. The two issuances, along with the $400 million of 8.2 percent senior notes due 2014 issued by the company May 13, bring CBS's total senior note offerings for the month to $1 billion.

May 8, 2009: “CBS TV Segment Revenues Down 12 Percent
CBS’s results for the first quarter reflected the absence of political spending on TV as well as the soft market. The TV operations generated $2.23 billion in revenue, down 12 percent from the $2.54 billion posted a year ago. Operating income for the stations and the network was $184.7 million, compared to $404.8 million a year ago.