CBS blackout dispute threatens football fans

NEW YORK – It’s one thing for a business dispute to knock out CBS programming in some three million homes during rerun season. Football season is another matter entirely, and there’s little immediate cause for optimism.

There’s been no reported progress in negotiations between CBS Corp. and Time Warner, which has blocked CBS programming from its customers’ homes in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York since Aug. 2. They are at odds over a deal to carry CBS on Time Warner, most prominently over retransmission fees that the cable operator pays to CBS per subscriber.

Talks are expected to continue over the Labor Day weekend. Meanwhile, Time Warner customers caught in the middle will miss third and fourth round competition in the U.S. Open tennis tournament. The tournament’s finals are next weekend, along with opening weekend in the National Football League.