Time Warner Cable to Carry NYC Debates on WCBS

Time Warner Cable will carry debates for candidates for New York City offices that will air on WCBS-TV, including Thursdays face off of contenders for comptroller, despite a standoff between the cable operator and the broadcaster.

WCBS will also air the Republican mayoral candidate debate on Aug. 28 as well as the Sept. 23 Democratic mayoral run-off debate.

"With vacancies in all three citywide offices, this election will decide the future of the city we all share and love," said Father Joseph Parkes, chairman of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, which asked both sides to agree to air the debates. "We are very pleased that these two institutions have chosen to look past their differences and provide all New Yorkers the best opportunity to see these important debates."

TWC dropped CBS stations, including Showtime and Smithsonian Channels, on Aug. 3 when the companies failed to reach a carriage agreement. The blackout affects nearly 3 million subscribers in markets including New York.

"We're pleased to provide New Yorkers the chance to catch the New York City Comptroller debate on Channels 2 and 702 despite the CBS blackout," said Glenn Britt, Time Warner Cable's Chairman and CEO. "Customers will be able to tune in and listen to the important topics the comptroller candidates will discuss about New York City's financial future."

On Tuesday, CBS made arrangements to simulcast Thursday's debate on CUNY-TV, which is carried by Time Warner Cable. The debate is also being translated into Spanish and televised by WLNY-TV.

"Also, CBS has given permission to Time Warner Cable to put the WCBS broadcast of the debate on Channels 2 and 702 on their local systems for the purpose of making the debate available to the widest possible audience," CBS said.

All of the debates start at 7 p.m. ET and run for an hour.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.