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Moonves: Keep the Government Out of Retrans

MoreCoverage: OnScreen Media Summit
Click here to read the complete interview with Moonves

CBS chief Leslie Moonves said that while he doesn't know the
exact details of the Fox-Cablevision standoff, the one thing he does know is
the government should stay out of it.

"We still thinks it's unfair the USA Network gets paid more
[by cable operators] than the CBS network, but we don't think the government
should be involved, the companies should settle it themselves," he said.  "We
need to remember that ninety nine percent of these get solved quietly.  The FCC
or government getting involved in any way, shape or form would be a mistake. 
The system works just fine."

Moonves made the comments at the 2010 Broadcasting &
Cable/Multichannel News
OnScreen Media Summit at the Marriott Marquis in New
York during a keynote Q&A with B&C Executive Editor Melissa Grego.

Moonves did comment on the Fox-Cablevision deal that has
stretched into the World Series, but offered little detail.

"I don't know what the dispute is or how far apart they
are," he said. "Nobody likes to see a dispute like this and we don't know the
details... I think it's pretty obvious which side of this dispute I am on."

Moonves also took the opportunity to sound his familiar
refrain that broadcast television is still in a strong position.  

"Two of the networks are down, two of the networks are up
from last year.  Network television works if you know what you are doing," he
said.  "We are looking at higher profits than we have seen in a long, long
time.  The upfronts were extremely strong across the board...the scatter market
is going to be phenomenal.  There are a lot less make good for us."