CBS' Brawl With Time Warner Will Soon Look Quaint

CBS could already cut out the middleman and sell online now, says Holman W. Jenkins Jr.

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 14, 2013 10:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – While Time Warner Cable and CBS fiddle, the traditional TV industry is burning down around them. CBS may still want cable distribution for now, but if it really wanted to, writes Holman W. Jenkins Jr. in the Wall Street Journal, it could cut out the middleman right now and begin selling CBS "directly to anybody with a web connection." We already know where the TV industry is headed, and that's online. "The real question," says Jenkins, "is whether cable's channel-bundling middleman role will go away quickly or slowly."

Cable providers like TWC are already deriving increasingly more of their profits from the web rather than TV. The future, he predicts, will be one where viewers only pay for how much they watch, and one where video is just part of our constantly connected lives, as our brains become one with "the Internet cloud." "CBS doesn't need a retrans agreement," writes Jenkins. "It just needs to put up an app in the app store." Click to read his full column.

The Time Warner Center is shown in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
A CBS Corp. logo is silhouetted in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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