CBS isn't buying Time Warner Cable's public proposal for a compromise to get the network back on the air — calling it "a sham."
"Today’s so-called proposal is a sham, a public relations vehicle designed to distract from the fact that Time Warner Cable is not negotiating in good faith," CBS said in a statement on Monday.
"Anyone familiar with the entertainment business knows that the economics and structure of the cable industry doesn’t work that way and isn’t likely to for quite some time," CBS' statement continues. "In short, this was an empty gesture from a company that is expert at them."
The statement was released in response to a letter TWC CEO Glenn Britt addressed to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. The letter, released to the public on Monday morning, offered a comprise in which CBS could either accept the terms that TWC "reluctantly" hammered out during retransmission negotiations, or sell CBS a la carte to TWC customers.
A formal response to Britt was forthcoming, a CBS spokeswoman told TheWrap.
Meanwhile, TWC has already countered CBS' statement. The cable provider inisists the compromise was "sincere," and criticizes the network for offering "nothing in return."
"Our efforts to get CBS programming back for our customers are sincere, and we have offered two proposals to accomplish that, while CBS has offered nothing in return," TWC's statement reads. "In addition to our a la carte proposal, we've offered an increase and the exact same contractual terms both companies have successfully operated under for nearly five years."
"We cannot understand why that is not enough for CBS. We're disappointed in their lack of responsiveness, particularly to our request for them to quit unfairly blocking the free content available on CBS.com from our Internet customers," TWC's statement continued. "We hope they will return to the table to negotiate in good faith on behalf of our customers and their viewers."
CBS, the most-watched network on television, went dark to TWC subscribers on Friday, along with Showtime, TMC, FLIX and Smithsonian. Approximately 3.5 million homes were affected in major markets including New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas
Negotiations began after a 2009 agreement expired at the end of June. The deadline for the two parties to reach an agreement was originally July 24, but was pushed several times.